Heartburn - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Heartburn Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ February 12, 2015
Norah Ephron's book launched this film, which tackles the tricky subject of infidelity without much complexity. The film covers the emotional rollercoaster that was Ephron's second marriage, using stand-ins Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. Most of the film is about their relationship, its beginnings, and the machinations of their life together. Near the end we actually get to the issues of the marriage, i.e. the infidelity on the part of Mark (Nicholson). The message of the film is that you shouldn't be with someone who doesn't respect you. What makes this lukewarm is that Mark's point of view is never expressed, and it's very one sided. Rachel (Streep) runs off, but is filled with regret as she is a single mother, and very pregnant. It seems like she only wants Mark to race after her, as she waits for him to call or send flowers, neither of which he does. The ending remains anticlimactic because Rachel doesn't really learn anything that isn't easy for her to reach. She just stops acting needy and changes her mind. It doesn't say anything bigger than "cheating is bad" and that's a message that has already been hammered to death, in much better films that include abuse and dependency. Without any complexity or understanding of this marriage as a whole, it's too easy an ending, and not worth the watch.
Super Reviewer
July 26, 2012
The marriage between a columnist and his wife degrades when she discovers his infidelity.
Nora Ephron makes me hate white people. These two privileges, upper-class, yuppie white people smack of the kind of white sense of entitlement that would make me turn into Malcolm X. Thinking about Ephron's films, I can't remember a single non-white character who isn't carrying a tray or, as is the case in this film, saying, "Meesus Forman" in a caricature of a Hispanic maid; her main complaint about Rachel nemesis in the film is that she's "messy," as though the only way this woman can evaluate one's character is through her work.
Now, I suppose you're saying that since race isn't a concern for Ephron, it's unfair to bring it up, or you're saying that Woody Allen has only one African American character in his entire oeuvre (Cookie from Deconstructing Harry) who merely serves to set up a racist joke. It's true that Ephron isn't writing about race, but it's nonetheless inappropriate to have the only depiction of nonwhites in subservient roles; if race isn't one of Ephron's concerns, then don't include any nonwhites in any role; have a white maid. Eliding nonwhites seems less offensive to me than confining nonwhites. And I admit one of Woody Allen's weaknesses is his single-color pallet, but in his entire film collection, there is only one instance where a nonwhite is confined to a subservient role, and this a non-speaking maid in Hannah and Her Sisters. As racist depictions go, Allen's not good, but Ephron is horrid.
The detestable depiction of race in Heartburn isn't the only thing that bothered me about the film. The conflict literally doesn't start until the film is forty-seven minutes old. For an eternity, we have to watch these yuppies be unpardonably happy with their courtship, their child, and their seemingly insouciant ability to get over their fears of marriage and commitment - serious fears that are glossed over and defeated with some simple spooning. It's so boring in a way that only the overly saccharine Ephron can bore one.
The half-star bonus point is for Jack Nicholson who has some good moments and for one scene with a jewelry salesman that was well-written.
Overall, after Julie and Julia and Bewitched, one would think that I'd learn my lesson.
Super Reviewer
August 6, 2007
Bittersweet comic drama that knowing the actual background inspiration is at times uncomfortable to watch. Nicholson is fine but Meryl's is the performance that really stands out. A high quality supporting cast however isn't really put to good enough use.
Super Reviewer
October 16, 2008
I think I would rather cut my ear off than watch this movie ever again. While technically a good film, it has been a long time since I loathed two characters in a movie so much.
The plot is basically smug, whingey, whiney 30 something (who dresses more like 40 something. Sooo frumpy all the way through this) marries womaniser, thinking of course that she is different and can change him. Oddly enough, he is soon cheating again (what a shocker). I found Meryl Streep's Rachel so unpleasant I really felt very little sympathy for her. Ditto Jack Nicholson's Mark - I don't think he was even meant to be likeable. It was just little things like her complete lack of manners anytime she was being served in a shop (right down to final scene with obnoxious child who looks like a female Chucky. Yes, that's just what I would hope to be stuck next to on a plane). Just the most self observed character ever. And this is supposedly a true story. Heaven forbid.
Super Reviewer
½ October 9, 2006
Another fantastic film from Mike Nichols. This darker than dark comedy is powered by marvelous performances from Nicholson and Streep and signature directorial flair. Although Ephron's script is slightly lacking in clarity as to what it wants to say, it's a funny and involving story overall. Highly recommended.
Super Reviewer
August 10, 2007
Nice chemistry but just an okay movie.
Super Reviewer
September 13, 2008
I enjoyed the comedic aspects of this film much more than the dramatic. I also really enjoyed Catherine O'Hara, she added some spunk.
August 9, 2012
All about a marriage going going going and then going bad. If you like Streep and Nicholson you should like this tale of infidelity and disallusionment. A big treat is seeing a young Kevin Spacey in his first feature film debut as a robber.
½ January 27, 2015
Are you still being good?

Rachel Samstat in her second marriage marries Washington DC columnist Mark Forman. They seem to have the perfect marriage: a fixer upper home, hang out with friends, and have children. During her second pregnancy, she discovers he's having an affair. She leaves him. She tries raising a family on her own, but one day he shows up and tries to reconcile. Can she mentally get over the trauma of their issues or will her mental instability destroy them?

"He falls in love with someone else and still wants to be friends."

Mike Nichols, director of Closer, The Graduate, The Birdcage, Charlie Wilson's War, Wolf, Biloxi Blues, Working Girl, Primary Colors, and Regarding Henry, delivers Heartburn. The storyline for this picture is very compelling and unique. The character development, script, and acting are all very solid. The cast includes Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Jeff Daniels, Maureen Stapleton, and Stockard Channing.

"Marriage doesn't work. You know what works? Divorce."
"Divorce is only a temporary solution."

This was a movie I came across on Netflix and thought would be interesting. I have always been a huge Jack Nicholson fan and was excited to see him in a movie I had never seen before. He wasn't in this much, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this gem. Overall, this isn't a masterpiece or must own for your collection, but it is a worthwhile movie worth a viewing.

"How much for the ring?"

Grade: C+/B-
½ June 26, 2012
Regardless of the back story, I thought this was a rather good movie. Very sad and very true. Real life doesn't follow a plot line. Love isn't black and white. Besides, it's Meryl Streep. She could do a monologue for 4 hours and I would love it!
November 21, 2011
With the talent in this, surprised this turned out to be a really bad Lifetime movie, which I guess is an oxymoron. Was hoping to see something about Nora Ephron (in career I mean her one good movie) and Carl Bernstein's careers, but in fictionalizing their story, it takes out anything interesting in their lives. Probably the worst Mike Nichols film I've seen so far.

Also, Kevin Spacey as a younger, sweaty and balding street tough is just disconcerting.

Another thought: In this movie Jack Nicolson's character has a baby daughter, and he makes cutesy baby faces to her - it is fucking terrifying. Seriously, I bet the baby used is still going through the therapy needed to cope with such a traumatic event in her life.
February 27, 2011
How did all of these fine actors come together to film such a shitty script. Based on the writers reall marriage, the story is told quick and stupid. They meet, they fall in love, they get married. All of the scenes are just simple day to day activities. It's like a Woody Allen movie except told by woman with a high school education. Other scenes are wasted singing and chewing food. Eventually, there's an affair. Boo hoo. It's just simple.
July 11, 2010
I was not a fan of this movie, however I was interested in seeing Nora Ephrons's biographical movie. I am a fan of Ephron's work. Streep and Nicholson give good performances (as they should) but not their best. They were very unforgetable roles. I did not really like it, and I think I even fast forwarded through some parts just so I could say I have seen it. Some parts were just very boring. If you want to see Streep and Nicholson together in amazing roles...watch: "Iornweed."
½ May 7, 2010
I just saw this one on TV. I expected it to be a little better since it was starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep, but it was actually kinda boring.
½ February 20, 2010
Just finished watching this movie on Netflix.... it was okay.... even though it was made 24 yrs ago Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson never age. It was an okay rainy day movie...
September 14, 2008
This Film is for anyone who has ever given their heart away only to have it smashed repeatedly by the man or woman you had chosen for "life". Your heart will break with Meryl Streep's charactor's. But when you see the beginning of her newfound strength, you will rejoice equally as much! I highly recommend this timeless piece!
½ August 26, 2008
Nicholson and Streep were a promising couple in this film, but it was too long and draggy to watch multiple times.
July 24, 2008
[font=Times New Roman]Directed by the great Mike Nichols and written (based on her novel) by Nora Ephron, "Heartburn" is a biting comedy on love and marriage. It is the "anti" to Ephron's later oh-so-cute "Sleepless in Seattle" and "You've Got Mail" -- in other words, it's for grown ups. Real grown ups. This is a romantic comedy without the happy ending. Meryl Streep is Rachel, a food magazine writer who meets cute with journalist Mark (Jack Nicholson) at a wedding. Instant sparks fly and a one night stand becomes a relationship which becomes marriage. Then it all falls apart as Mark strays, and Rachel suffers. This is a damn good comedy with top notch performances by Streep and Nicholson, who love, bicker, sing silly songs and fight like any married couple. Made in 1986, the film hasn't aged much -- Carly Simon's score and famous song 'Coming Around Again" are perfect for the film and check out a young Kevin Spacey as a criminal. If there's a complaint, it's the scenes in which Rachel imagines "Masterpiece Theatre" as commentary on her own life; the scenes play way too cute with much of the film. [/font]
August 16, 2007
I will watch anything Jack does! But, this movie I think was just an excuse for he and streep to act together. Not much meat to the story...had seen this story line other places.
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