It was a wild year for AMC’s beloved Nicole Kidman ad. Playing before nearly every movie at AMC theaters since September last year, Nicole Kidman’s “somehow, heartbreak feels good in a place like this” ad has become a year-long exercise in communal irony. It’s a rare example of society taking the piss out of cynical corporate pleas for patronage by taking the ad very seriously. Kidman’s shiny pinstripe suit, unexplained inclusion of Jurassic World as an example of enjoyable moviegoing, and her trickster grin rattling off word salad have become bumper stickers, t shirtsand internet memes about how theatergoers pay tribute to the God of movies: Nicole Kidman. Now, after a full calendar year of jokes about the ad, Saturday night Live finally got around to making the jokes that people on Twitter have been pushing for months.
In its season 45 premiere, SNL sends cast-member Chloe Feinman down unda’ with a thick Australian accent in a faithful recreation of the AMC spot, with Feinman exaggerating Kidman’s reaction to every bit of the ridiculous advertising copy. As Kidman nears the end of her speech, fellow theatergoers begin to salute the screen, chanting, “heartbreak feels good in a place like this.” Kidman’s power grows as the chants commence, and she is imbued with the power of a Marvel second act twist, levitating above her seat from her and attracting lightning bolts to her shiny suit from her, decrying her ability to “make movies better.”
Unfortunately for everyone who enjoyed the ad at AMC theatres, SNL is where memes go to die, a sign of their overexposure while slapping it with a definitive “take” that millions more will see. That take for much of the sketch is that Kidman has a funny accent, while the rest more or less lines up with a hyperbolic version of how regular folks reacted to the commercial—saluting, cheering, and treating Kidman with reverence.
We already know that AMC has commissioned a sequel to their beloved pre-roll bumper, which will undoubtedly feature even more nonsensical statements about the magic of movies. So after that, the only thing left will be for Nicole Kidman to pick the bones of her viral success by appearing on SNLplaying opposite Chloe Feinman, as they shoot lightning bolts out of their fingers and argue which heroes feel like the best parts of us—because here, they are.
Correction: This article has been updated to correct an error.