Is anything more iconic than Nicole Kidman walking through an empty movie theater like it’s a scene from an Academy Award-winning film? The answer should be no, but Saturday Night Live gave a performance that might just beat the iconic pre-movie ad that’s become a pop culture fascination. Back in Sept. 2021 AMC Theatres released an ad for the AMC movie experience featuring Nicole Kidman giving the performance of a lifetime. Instantly the ad became meme gold and took the internet by storm, with fans creating t-shirts and fliers to immortalize the melodramatic scene. Nearly a year later, SNL weighed in and reminded fans how heartbreak feels.
The parody was one of the highlights of SNL’s Season 48 premiere on Saturday, Oct. 1. Chloe Fineman took on the role of movie enthusiast Nicole Kidman, and the resemblance was uncanny. As she walked through a set mirroring the original, she delivered the golden lines that everyone familiar with the ad knows by heart. Fineman didn’t just look the part, she also sounded the part — sort of; Kidman has a very unique Australian accent that Fineman imitated humorously, making it more over-the-top than the original in the best way.
Once Fineman makes it into the theater, she is joined by Kenan Thompson acting the part of a civilian moviegoer. He watches Fineman with confusion, ultimately getting up and switching seats to avoid the weirdness. When the theater begins to fill up with more people, it becomes clear that Kidman’s epic monologue has inspired a cult of followers, who worship the movie experience the same way she does.
Everything comes to a head when Fineman’s minions rise to salute her, Thompson confusingly following along despite not understanding what’s happening. It’s both hysterical and unsettling how the crowd repeats the most famous line of the original ad: “Somehow, heartbreak feels good in a place like this.” Soon after, Fineman’s eyes turn a stormy white and she levitates above the crowd while she finishes her monologue, delivering the final sentence when she drops back into her chair as if nothing happened.
Nicole Kidman’s dramatic performance for AMC will forever be one of the best unintentional meme moments, so much so that she has been asked to return for another ad. I can sense a new meme on the horizon.