HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
   
 
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
   
 
  Heartbreak Kid, The Love Fool
Year: 1972
Director: Elaine May
Stars: Charles Grodin, Cybill Shepherd, Jeannie Berlin, Eddie Albert, Audra Lindley, Mitchell Jason, William Prince, Augusta Dabney, Doris Roberts, Marilyn Putnam, Jack Hausman, Erik Lee Preminger, Art Metrano, Tim Browne, Jean Scoppa
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Sporting goods salesman Lenny Cantrow (Charles Grodin) is engaged to Lila (Jeannie Berlin), but frustrated by her belief in no sex before marriage. The big day arrives, and after the ceremony they pack their bags and head off on a cross-country drive from New York to Miami and the Florida resort they have prepared for the honeymoon. However, on the way Lila has a habit of mentioning that they will spend forty to fifty years together, which begins to prompt Lenny to have second thoughts, especially considering that his new spouse has revealed a preference for messy egg salad sandwiches, insists on out of tune singing and to top it all that long-awaited sex wasn't all he hoped for, either. So it turns out that the honeymoon will be the worst thing possible for the marriage...

Probably one of the most excruciating comedies ever to come out of Hollywood, The Heartbreak Kid was scripted by Neil Simon from a short story by Bruce Jay Friedman. Some scenes, many scenes actually, leave you squirming with embarrassment as our anti-hero throws away the life to which he was best suited to doggedly pursue the woman of his dreams - Lila, the previous woman of his dreams he steadily forces out of his existence. Some prefer Midnight Run, but this is surely Grodin's best performance as he spins outrageous lies, insinuates his way into people's lives, and generally acts like a self-deluding heel.

It's Lenny's capacity for self-delusion that keeps the plot bubbling away after he has a chance encounter with rich blonde college student Kelly (Cybill Shepherd) on the beach. She's toying with him when she walks up and tells him he's lying in her spot, but for Lenny it's love at first sight. Those feelings he had for Lila all of two days before - before they were married, that is - are effortlessly transferred to Kelly and when Lila foolishly stays out in the sun too long without tanning lotion on, she has to stay in their hotel room for a day. This gives Lenny a perfect opportunity to get to know Kelly better.

You can tell that Kelly is flattered by Lenny's devotion, but can't shake the feeling that she's playing him for a fool, which isn't difficult, because the man is a fool. Kelly's millionaire banker father (Eddie Albert, on as excellent form as the rest of the cast), however, sees right through him, and is determined he doesn't get any closer to his daughter. And so Lenny's excuses to Lila mount up as he tells her, for example, he was in a car crash with an old army buddy when he was really inviting himself to dinner with Kelly's family, and there comes a point when he decides there's only one thing for it: a divorce after less than a week so he can be free to marry Kelly, whether she wants to or not.

From this results the film's most famous sequence, a masterclass of cringeworthy humour as Lenny finally takes Lila out for dinner to a seafood restaurant to break the bad news, just as she's starting to enjoy herself as well. Although we can see they are a good match, Lenny can't allow real life to get in the way of his romantic ideals, and his methods of letting Lila down gently are as pathetic as expected, leaving her a quivering wreck in front of the other customers. The Heartbreak Kid leaves you dreading scene after scene, just because you can see that Lenny's not going to get any better - the last act features him chasing Kelly back to her home in Minnesota and in a no-less-uncomfortable development, winning her over. Peerless performances throughout, despite leaving you with constantly conflicting sympathies, ensure that the comedy remains compelling in a "watch through your fingers" kind of way, yet mostly it makes you wince. As a comedy of embarrassment, it is perfect, but you need a steely reserve to get through it. Music by Garry Sherman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4610 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: