Heartburn (Nichols, 1986)

Watching Streep and Nicholson together under the direction of Mike Nichols should warrant reason for any cinephile to watch this film. However, it’s a rather tepid affair, following the banal chance encounter of the two leads meeting at a wedding, falling in “love”, getting married, and the cliched ensuing hardships. While Nicholson gets tossed under the bus as the philandering husband, Nichols focuses almost entirely on Streep’s beautiful and tormented performance. But it’s a blessing we get to spend so much time with this actress playing an older mother of a young girl and pregnant to boot, her smiles and tears flowing to a rapturing affect. I’m finding Streep’s “regular” performances, that is without an accent or pretension, to be her most brilliant and humane. Her turn in Heartburn belongs side by side with other standouts in Kramer vs. Kramer, Postcards From the Edge, and Bridges of Madison County. She is, without a doubt, the finest thespian America has to offer, and I’m basically willing to watch any of her films, no matter how marginal the overall product. But I still hate The Hours. Sorry Meryl.

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