Film: The Heartbreak Kid

The Heartbreak Kid is a 1972 comedy-drama directed by Elaine May and scripted by Neil Simon.

Charles Grodin plays Lenny Cantrow, a sporting goods salesman who marries a Nice Jewish Girl named Lila (Jeannie Berlin). While on their honeymoon, Lila's odd habits, neuroses, and awkwardness become increasingly unbearable, and Lenny divorces her in order to pursue blonde WASP goddess Kelly (Cybill Shepherd).

The film was remade in 2007 by the Farrelly Brothers with Ben Stiller, Malin Åkerman and Michelle Monaghan in the main roles.


This film includes examples of:

  • Creator Cameo: Neil Simon is a guest at the wedding.
  • Cringe Comedy: Lenny's breakup with Lila is equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking.
  • Embarrassingly Painful Sunburn: What happens to Lila after spending an entire day on the beach, sans sunblock.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: It seems Lenny married Lila just to have sex with her. He regrets it immediately.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: It says "Neil Simon's The Heartbreak Kid" in the opening credits. Simon usually got this billing during his screenwriting heyday.
  • Papa Wolf: Kelly's father (Eddie Albert) takes an instant disliking to Lenny, which eventually blossoms into seething hatred. He tries numerous times to keep him away from his daughter, even resorting to bribery at one point.
  • Revealing Hug: Lenny's empty stare as Lila nestles up to him after sex is revealing of how much he didn't enjoy it. Then her other habits start to irritate him.
  • Shiksa Goddess: Jewish Lenny falls hard for blonde, blue-eyed Kelly ... while on his honeymoon.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: With barely a shred of remorse, Lenny dumps his nebbish (yet loving) wife less than a week into their marriage.