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

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:

Sex... Love... Marriage. Some people don't know when to quit! 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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Carl Bernstein once said of his marriage break-up with Nora Ephron [of which this movie and its source novel of the same name is based]: "Nora and I both have always had a policy of keeping our private life out of the public eye". 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: He has an unlisted address.
Rachel Samstat: What are you talking about?
Mark Forman: Oh, well, it's the latest thing.
Rachel Samstat: What kind of person has an unlisted address?
Mark Forman: I'll tell you what kind person. The kind that doesn't want to be dead. The kind people are trying to kill all the time.
Rachel Samstat: Why are you angry at me for?
Mark Forman: I'm not angry at you.
Rachel Samstat: Then what you shouting at me for?
Mark Forman: Because you're the only one that's here.
See more »

Connections

Features The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby, It's Cold Outside
Written by Frank Loesser
Performed by Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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