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Heartburn (1986)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  25 July 1986 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 5,546 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 12 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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Title: Heartburn (1986)

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

They Thought It Was Love. It Was Really Heartburn. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 July 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Difícil Arte de Amar  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$25,314,289 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film doesn't make this explicit, but in real-life, Nora Ephron had been so upset by her husband's infidelity that she went into labor prematurely. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mark Forman: My wife's name was Kimberley. One of the first Kimberleys.
Rachel Samstat: My husband had hamsters.
Mark Forman: Me too.
Rachel Samstat: Not as a grownup you didn't. He had hamsters named Arnold and Shirley. And he was always whipping up little salads for them in the Slice-O-Matic and buying them extremely small sweaters at a pet boutique in Rego Park. Also, there was a certain amount of talking in squeaky voices.
Mark Forman: Both of you?
Rachel Samstat: Well, he was Arnold... and I was Shirley.
See more »

Connections

References Carousel (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Soliloquy
(excerpt)
From the musical play "Carousel"
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Sung by Jack Nicholson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Uneven, but less manufactured than Ephron's subsequent films
12 November 1998 | by See all my reviews

Although somewhat artificial, the humor and "heartburn" of this Nora Ephron film seem more affecting and less manufactured than those in her more slick subsequent films, When Harry Met Sally... and Sleepless in Seattle. Perhaps the autobiographical slant helped.

Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson play a couple based on Ephron and Carl Bernstein. They meet, marry, settle in Washington, and have children. Streep's wedding-day jitters, it turns out, were amply justified; she discovers an affair between her husband and a social-climbing hostess.

Streep is so luminous and so natural that one may not realize until the end of the film how completely insipid and devoid of any distinguishing qualities her character is. "Rachel" changes from a wan, nervous divorcee (before meeting Nicholson's character) to an obsessively devoted wife and mother who keeps babbling about how happy she is.

Nicholson is well-cast as the rakish but (initially) endearing husband. The supporting cast reflects the expert hand of Juliet Taylor, Woody Allen's longtime casting director, who peppered it with many familiar faces, including Allen favorites Joanna Gleason, Caroline Aaron, and Karen Akers. Maureen Stapleton is particularly droll as Streep's shrink. Nineties audiences will enjoy seeing Kevin Spacey as a neurasthenic mugger.

The comedy in the film is somewhat uneven, but often extremely engaging, as in a running parody of "Masterpiece Theatre." And compare the spontaneous bravado of Nicholson's lopsided rendition of "Soliloquy" from Carousel (the comic highlight) to the forced quirkiness of Meg Ryan's tone-deaf "Surrey with the Fringe on Top" in When Harry Met Sally...


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