Heartburn (1986)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  25 July 1986 (USA)
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Reviews: 41 user | 15 critic

An autobiographical look at the breakup of Ephron's marriage to Carl "All the President's Men" Bernstein that was also a best-selling novel. The Ephron character, Rachel is a food writer at... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Annie Forman (as Natalie Stern)
Karen Akers ...
Thelma Rice
Aida Linares ...
Della, Harry's Maid
Det. Andrew O'Brien
Dr. Appel


An autobiographical look at the breakup of Ephron's marriage to Carl "All the President's Men" Bernstein that was also a best-selling novel. The Ephron character, Rachel is a food writer at a New York magazine who meets Washington columnist Mark at a wedding and ends up falling in love with him despite her reservations about marriage. They buy a house, have a daughter, and Rachel thinks they are living happily ever after until she discovers that Mark is having an affair while she is waddling around with a second pregnancy. Written by Lisa Todorovich

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sex... Love... Marriage. Some people don't know when to quit! See more »


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 July 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Difícil Arte de Amar  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)


$25,314,289 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The lead male character Mark Forman is based on reporter Carl Bernstein. The actual Bernstein was played by Dustin Hoffman in All the President's Men (1976). Hoffman and Meryl Streep also played a divorcing couple in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979). See more »


When Rachel begins a tape recording of her life with the baby, she identifies herself as "Rachel Samstat". There is no reason for her to use her maiden name, and in the rest of the movie she uses her married name. See more »


Mark Forman: It's just that there's no door to the kitchen.
Contractor Laszlo: The back door.
Mark Forman: The back door. Yes. It's true. You can get into the kitchen... through the back door. This, we know is a kitchen. But you can't get inside the house from the kitchen! Now, how the fuck did this happen?
Rachel Samstat: Mark. For God's sake. Laszlo, we thought that you could put a door here.
Contractor Laszlo: She's a piece of cake. He's a piece of cake.
Rachel Samstat: It's a piece of cake.
Contractor Laszlo: You are Hungarian?
Rachel Samstat: No. You are Hungarian.
Contractor Laszlo: Yes.
Rachel Samstat: Yes. Hungarians have no pronouns.
See more »


References Brute Force (1947) See more »


From the musical play "Carousel"
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Sung by Jack Nicholson
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Honey, we need to talk ...
9 November 2007 | by See all my reviews

Like a good relationship that goes sour, "Heartburn" is impossible to love but hard to write off entirely. Despite its fine cast and script by Nora Ephron, the film is disjointed and, ultimately, dishonest.

Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson play two Washington journalists who meet at a wedding, and — seemingly in the next scene — are saying their own vows. The developments that follow in their relationship are just as abrupt and just as believable. The rapid-fire pace of their many separations and reconciliations stretches credibility to the limit, and it's hard to generate any interest in these characters when it was never clear what drew them together in the first place.

Streep does a fine job as magazine writer Rachel, but Nicholson's cad is all too familiar in his role of Mark, the womanizing columnist. Supporting players Stockard Channing, Maureen Stapleton, Jeff Daniels and Kevin Spacey, while uniformly excellent, seem underutilized and distract from the main plot.

"Heartburn" is worth watching, if only for its strong cast, but it's as memorable as leftover lasagna.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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