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The Heartbreak Kid Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Jeff Shannon

After her brilliant career in a comedy duo with Mike Nichols, Elaine May made tentative progress as a director, making only four films between 1971 and 1987 (her last being the disastrous but underrated Ishtar). Released in 1972, The Heartbreak Kid (from a screenplay by Neil Simon) is widely considered her best work from behind the camera, and it's still one of the most accomplished--but least recognized--comedies of the 1970s. Charles Grodin landed one of his best roles as Lenny, a newlywed husband who meets a gorgeous blonde (Cybill Shepherd) while on his honeymoon, and finds his new bride, Lila (played by May's daughter, Jeannie Berlin), unappealing by comparison. When Lila is forced to rest with a severe case of sunburn, Lenny's free to pursue his new interest, oblivious to the manipulative games that he'll soon be subjected to. May and screenwriter Simon draw plenty of pain, awkwardness, and embarrassment from hilarious situations, giving this comedy a perceptive awareness of human foibles and unchecked desires. It's a newlywed's worst nightmare come true, made enjoyable because we're watching it happen to someone else. Grodin's a prime choice of casting for expressing the movie's lusty anxiety--he's a schmuck, but you can still sympathize with the anguish he's brought on himself.

Academy Awards

The Heartbreak Kid received Academy Awards nominations for Supporting Actor (Eddie Albert) and Supporting Actress (Jeannie Berlin).

Share Your Memories!

Is The Heartbreak Kid one of your favorite movies? What do you remember about it? Share your stories (or your reviews) with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"I saw this movie in a theatre in 1972 - my memory has blessedly faded over time. But it was probably the worst movie ever made, ISHTAR HAS to be better. The most ridiculous scene - when the main character wins his Barbie doll's heart by beating up her football player boyfriend. WHAT A MAN! Actual torture to sit through!"

--Karl

"I saw this film when it was released to the theaters...One of the best comedies of the Super70s. A Super cast..very well done! [Editor's note: Well, at least we have a consesus of opinion about this film!]"

--Anonymous

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Elaine May

Stars: Charles Grodin, Cybill Shepherd, Eddie Albert, Jeannie Berlin

Released: December 17, 1972

Availability: DVD VHS


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