The Heartbreak Kid (1993) from Tuna

The Heartbreak Kid is an Australian "coming of age" story in which a 25-year-old teacher falls for, and has an affair with a 17-year-old student. While the plot line is somewhat familiar, it is a whole new twist. First, the teacher is female. Second, the teacher is naive, while the student is worldly and experienced. Third, their affair is true love, not just lust. Fourth, they manage to find a happy ending, which, given the theme, was no small challenge.

It is set in the Australian Greek community, and Claudia Karvan is engaged to a proper ass of a Greek, picked by her parents. The parents even help to buy the house across the street from them, where Karvan will be expected to hatch babies and keep house. Meanwhile, one of her students  has a crush on he. The boy has a real talent for soccer, and actually lives rather than blindly following what society dictates.

The film has pace, passion, and the lead characters are likable. It also says something about the universality of being the minority anywhere, and the pressures and lack of freedom Greek women deal with. 



  • Region 4 only. PAL only



Claudia Karvan shows breasts in sex scenes with her intended, and with the student (Nick Polides).

The Critics Vote ...

  • It was nominated for three AFI awards: best film, best director, best supporting actor.

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a C. Solid movie. If the premise intrigues you, you'll be at least pleased with the execution, maybe much more than merely pleased.

Return to the Movie House home page