Monday, February 28, 2011

542. The Heartbreak Kid (1972)

Running Time: 106 minutes
Directed By: Elaine May
Written By: Neil Simon, from the story A Change of Plan by Bruce Jay Friedman
Main Cast: Charles Grodin, Cybill Shepherd, Jeannie Berlin, Audra Lindley, Eddie Albert


For all of you fellow Netflix stream watchers, there's a whole slew of movies getting ready to depart that portion of Netflix tonight and "The Heartbreak Kid" is one of them. Following the Oscars last night, I decided to watch one of the ones that wasn't going to be available anymore and so I chose this one. It was just what I needed - a fun movie, that I was simply able to kick back and enjoy and not have to put too much thought into.

Many of you are probably more familiar with the remake that came out a few years ago starring Ben Stiller, but today we're talking about the Charles Grodin version...a man, who in one movie proved to me that he's much funnier than Ben Stiller. Grodin is Lenny and within the first ten minutes of the film he marries Lila (Berlin). Immediately following the wedding, the newly weds head for Miami Beach for their honeymoon, in a hilarious group of road trip scenes that sees Charles Grodin chewing gum and trying to belt out "Strummin' on the Ol' Banjo" and giving his new wife a lesson in Milky Way ethics, via the line "Honey, don't put a Milky Way in someone's mouth who doesn't want it." By the time they arrive in Miami Beach, Lenny is convinced that he has made a terrible mistake in marrying Lila. The entire trip he realizes little things about her that drive him absolutely and totally nuts, such as constantly asking for reassurance while making love, eating an egg salad sandwich in a completely manner-less way and using words and phrases like "pee pee". On the beaches of Miami, Lenny meets Kelly (Shepherd) and is very attracted to her and when Lila gets a nasty sunburn on the first day of their honeymoon, which gives Lenny the opportunity to meet and spend time with Kelly...which he does.

I'm not going to spoil anything here, because it simply isn't necessary in discussing the film. This is probably going to be short and sweet, because it won't take me long to tell why I enjoyed "The Heartbreak Kid". No matter how many times I do it, I'm always in a stupor when I see a movie for the first time, that I like, that has been out for decades. I constantly ask myself, "how did I not see this already, it's so good". This is one of those occasions and especially in this case, because when I was younger, I was obsessed with comedies and "The Heartbreak Kid" is a top notch comedy. Charles Grodin, in my opinion, was HILARIOUS. It's very rare for me to physically laugh out loud during a film, even if I think the film IS funny. A lot of times I'll just snicker or think to myself "Oh, that's clever", but not here. I was laughing out loud more times than I could count and it was almost always due to a line that Grodin delivered. Even when he wasn't trying to be funny, there was just something about his mild mannered speech that I got a kick out of.

This film also allowed me the opportunity to check out Neil Simon, a man who I, sadly, had only heard of through a particular "Seinfeld" episode. I looked up his list of film credits after the movie and was surprised to see a bunch of movies that have always looked appealing to me, such as: "Barefoot in the Park", "The Out of Towners" and "The Sunshine Boys". This is someone who I'll definitely be checking out more of and to my surprise, yet again, his first every film is currently streaming on Netflix - "Come Blow Your Horn".

I'll wrap it up now. If you're looking for a really funny comedy, then check out THE ORIGINAL "The Heartbreak Kid" and enjoy it and feel free to swing back around and leave a comment and we can discuss it.

RATING: 7.5/10 I give very few comedies a full '10', so for a comedy that's a pretty solid rating.


February 28, 2011 12:40pm

1 comment:

  1. Geee.. I'm sorry, I really found this film boring. I couldn't dislike it - there was nothing there to get any emotion going. I found the two main characters totaly without substance, unlikeable and.. and.. Well, the whole thing was pointless.
    Sorry, a big no on this one


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