Based on Nora Ephron semi-autobiographical novel inspired by her second marriage to Watergate investigative journalist Carl Bernstein and his affair with Margaret Jay, the wife of Peter Jay the British Ambassador to the United States. Rachel Samstat (Meryl Streep), a New York food critic, meets Mark Forman (Jack Nicholson), a Washington, D.C., newspaper columnist at a mutual friend’s wedding. The two fall in love and Rachel gives up her job and relocates to be with Mark. 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’s pregnant with their second child.
The cast is well acted. Meryl Streep is superb as Rachel, the heartbroken mother trying to pick up the pieces after her world falls apart. She makes Rachel likeable and easily relatable. Jack Nicholson is perfectly cast Rachel’s philandering husband Mark. He gives a funny and charming performance. Streep and Nicholson work well together and share great chemistry. A good supporting cast from Stockard Channing, Jeff Daniels, Miloš Forman, Steven Hill and Catherine O’Hara with an early appearance by real life daughter Mamie Gummer as Rachel and Mark’s daughter.
The music by Carly Simon is excellent. The theme song Coming Around Again is a nice uplifting track to listen throughout the film.
Directed by Mike Nichols (The Birdcage, Working Girl) and Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle) adapting her own novel, Heartburn is a pleasant film to watch about relationships and the ups and downs of marriage. Though at times it’s downbeat, it has some enjoyable moments such as Rachel tells an amusing story to Mark about her previous marriage and Mark blowing his head at the contractor for failing to put a door in the kitchen. It’s worth a look for fans of Mike Nichols and Nora Ephron.
Rating: 4/5 Stars