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The Heartbreak Kid


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The Heartbreak Kid

May’s four films are among the treasures of the cinema over all.” (Richard Brody, The New Yorker)

“It’s a movie that manages the marvelous and very peculiar trick of blending the mechanisms and the cruelties of Neil Simon’s comedy with the sense and sensibility of F. Scott Fitzgerald.” (New York Times)

The outrageously funny but ruthless The Heartbreak Kid was an instant hit. Critics loved the film. The Saturday Review deemed it “a triumph of New York Jewish humor”—and it is still widely considered to be one of the funniest American movies ever made. A dark comedy scribed by Neil Simon, it tells the story of sporting-goods salesman Lenny Cantrow (Charles Grodin, in the role that made him a star), who takes his new bride (played to perfection by Elaine May’s real-life daughter Jeannie Berlin) to Miami for their honeymoon. After their disappointing first official night together, Lenny heads to the beach and meets—or, rather, is met by— a determined, gorgeous blonde shiksa goddess wonderfully played by Cybill Shepherd (every Jewish boy’s dream and Jewish wife’s nightmare!). What happens next? Don’t ask! 35mm print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.

Tickets: $15 (members), $20 (nonmembers)

[May] captures the implausibly boundless sense of wonder, possibility, and entitlement of a time when even a self-proclaimed schmuck like Len Cantrow, endowed with little but the gift of gab, attempted daring feats of self-liberation.
Elaine May's The Heartbreak Kid was directed with a sure feeling for how comedy can edge over into satire and then tragedy.
A first-class American comedy, as startling in its way as was The Graduate.

This film is part of the Westchester Jewish Film Festival 2016 series.

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