6.1/10
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46 user 18 critic

Heartburn (1986)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 25 July 1986 (USA)
A food writer pregnant with her second baby finds out her husband is having an affair.

Director:

Mike Nichols

Writers:

Nora Ephron (novel), Nora Ephron (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Rachel
Jack Nicholson ... Mark
Jeff Daniels ... Richard
Maureen Stapleton ... Vera
Stockard Channing ... Julie
Richard Masur ... Arthur
Catherine O'Hara ... Betty
Steven Hill ... Rachel's Father
Milos Forman ... Dmitri
Mamie Gummer ... Annie (as Natalie Stern)
Karen Akers Karen Akers ... Thelma Rice
Aida Linares Aida Linares ... Juanita
Anna Maria Horsford ... Della
Ron McLarty ... Detective O'Brien
Kenneth Welsh ... 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:

So This Is Love? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 July 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El difícil arte de amar See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,783,079, 27 July 1986

Gross USA:

$25,314,189

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,314,189
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie that Rachel and Mark are watching in bed on their first date is The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962). See more »

Goofs

After saying she was making a key lime pie for dinner, Rachel is seen at a produce dept buying regular limes, rather than key limes. See more »

Quotes

Mark Forman: What the fuck was that?
Rachel Samstat: He has cancer.
Mark Forman: Bullshit.
Rachel Samstat: Mark.
Mark Forman: It's bullshit!
Rachel Samstat: People don't lie about things like that.
Mark Forman: Contractors lie about everything. What'd he say, "I have cancer"?
Rachel Samstat: Exactly.
Mark Forman: Well, he probable meant that "he" has cancer.
Rachel Samstat: Who?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Yes Sir, That's My Baby
Written by Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson
Performed by Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Uneven, but less manufactured than Ephron's subsequent films
12 November 1998 | by darnell-2See 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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