The Heartbreak Kid

Director: Elaine May
Year Released: 1972
Rating: 3.5

At first I was bothered as to why this young man would marry someone he was so disgusted by - the two are obviously incompatible, and he must have realized he couldn't stand her by the second date - but that feeling passed quickly when the Charles Grodin character gets developed later on: marrying someone he didn't realize he couldn't stand is something a guy like him would do. This is a marvelous - and underrated - black comedy from director Elaine May; I gasped in horror when I first saw Neil Simon's name, but realized that the plot and details were not by him - it's based on a short story by Bruce Jay Friedman. Grodin's performance is so incredible, I can't help but wonder why his career didn't take off (and keep on) - he manages to take a mixed-up twenty-something and make him human: he's so flawed, and his predicament is so true (his lies would be loathsome if he wasn't deceived by them himself) that it was hard for me not to look at him - and his jumbled life - and not see parts of myself and my peers.