Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding
11 October 2014
The Briefest of Reviews from 1972
The main title for this film is Neil Simon's The Heartbreak Kid. I didn't really realize that this was a thing, where the writer got billing like this. (I know this happens on Paddy Chayefsky'sNetwork, but that still seems quite unusual to me.) Neil Simon did not write the novel on which The Heartbreak Kid is based, and Elaine May directed the film. The Heartbreak Kid is a really funny farcical piece, and I quite enjoyed myself. Eddie Albert is hilarious, but I think what I don't really get is Charles Grodin. I've just never understood Charles Grodin. Maybe it's from seeing Beethoven as a kid and hating him, but he is young and cute in this... and still looks as one-note and uncomfortable as ever. I will say, though, that The Heartbreak Kid is a kind of comedic version of the 1970s lonely man à la The Conversation or Save the Tiger. The ending, funny though it is, is a beautiful portrait of this emptiness. I thought this was pretty great.