Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Heartbreak Kid

Fiction (comedy in particular) frequently depicts men as strictly one thing: utterly obsessed with the perfect woman. Of course various male creators have explored this countless times with little to no explanation in the end. Though women have also depicted men and their insatiable desires.

Elaine May's The Heartbreak Kid opens with the wedding of Lenny (Charles Grodin) and Lila (Jeannie Berlin, May's daughter), a seemingly happy affair. But en route to their honeymoon in Florida, he realizes that she has a number of annoying traits. And upon arriving in Miami, he starts chasing Kelly (Cybill Shepard).

Granted, it's a satire but there's something borderline infuriating seeing a character not know the very distinct difference between romance and infatuation. (And yes, there is one.) Maybe that's why the male-driven works on this subject tend to take on a creepy air...

Come to think of it, that's exactly why those works in particular tend to fail. We're part of a society that frequently depicts women as nothing more than objects to men. This is why every now and again we need this story told from a female perspective to show how sexist it is.

But back to the review. The Heartbreak Kid has its moments here and there but overall, it serves as more of a cautionary tale for those young and unknowing. If a married person is making passes at you, don't encourage them by responding to said passes. Ignore them until they get the message.

My Rating: ****

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