Novel was better?

It was a number of years ago I read the novel by Nora Ephron, and while I don't remember it that well, I remember enough to know the movie is diluted. It's not unusual for that to happen in adaptation, but there's something fundamental here.

Meryl Streep plays a food columnist who marries Jack Nicholson, also a columnist, they have babies and marital woes from here on. Now, the key thing about the novel was that this was all stitched together through food - special recipes she cooked, and whatever other culinary events that happened along the way. In the movie, the connection to food is still present, but it's often just there in the background, something that the characters talk about, without the same meaning that was present in the title.

Now, I also don't remember being that wild about the book, so maybe this restructuring was an improvement. The interesting thing to note is that Heartburn is based on Ephron's own life, and her marriage with Carl Bernstein.

I have a problem with the last scene, consisting of Streep and the older child doing "itsy bitsy spider" on a plane, waiting to take off. It stretches credibility that very many people on that plane would be able to stand for that very long, at that volume at least. And then that song bleeds out into the end credits. What? This is odd. Are we to understand that motherhood is the only foundation for a positive future for this woman? I don't get that out of the movie.

So, those are my nitpicks about everything, but the acting is still good - it's Streep and Nicholson, after all. Occasionally, the camera is doing something "interesting" that fails because it just brings attention to itself. Not a bad way of spending time if you are just watching the actors and the emotion in the scenes. Also keep your eyes open for Kevin Spacey's first film role.

Was this review helpful to you?

Full profile for Heartburn

Latest Articles
login to submit an article
A Film Review
2006-03-10 06:51:39... CheriLacy

The Lazy Moviewatcher's Top... Something of 2004
Despite being busy watching all of 2003's movies at home, this reviewer did actually hit the theater a few times this year
2004-12-30 22:39:13... andrew

2003 Awards Tracker
So many awards, so much recognition - it's amazing how these people don't develop an ego
2004-01-29 21:45:11... andrew

How to set up a cheap home theatre
Constant upgrades and a host of revolving standards make the home theatre market hard to decide when to jump in.
2003-05-27 17:52:42... mastadonfarm

Popular Reviews
submit a review here

Latest Reviews
submit a review here