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.
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.
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?"
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.