Elaine May Molly Haskell - Essay

Molly Haskell

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Lenny, the hero of The Heartbreak Kid,… seems more the progeny of [Bruce Jay] Friedman, who wrote the story on which the film is based, than of Neil Simon, who wrote the screenplay, or Elaine May, who directed. But May has softened the edges, making Lenny more enchanting than he has any right to be, and brought into dramatic, if not completely resolved, focus, the surrounding characters….

Elaine May's second feature is a funny and sometimes sidesplitting film whose whole never approaches the success of its best moments in which the two levels of romantic fantasy and satire are reconciled. It falls prey to the kind of tonal inconsistencies, or rather irresolutions, that one might expect...

(The entire section is 555 words.)