"The Break-Up" (2006)
Directed By: Peyton Reed
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, Joey Lauren Adams, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman, Judy Davis, & Justin Long
MPAA Rating: "PG-13" (for sexual content, some nudity and language)
"The Break-Up" is probably most famous for sparking the famous relationship of Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. Think about it as the "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" for the couple. The only difference is that "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" was a fun, entertaining movie and "The Break-Up" is anything but. In fact, this is one of the least entertaining and joyless movies I have seen this year. We all know how hard and awkward break-ups can be. "The Break-Up" analyzes this with very little compromise. In fact, it puts this failing couple into one of most awkward situations imaginable--having them share a condo until they can sell it. The real question, though, is not how they will handle this situation but, why should we really want to see it? Why do we want to see two people bicker and complain for an hour and forty or so minutes? Why do we want to experience all of the awkward moments that come with this scenario? The answer is that, of course, we don't want to do anything of these things. Herein lays the problem with "The Break-Up". It is a movie that we just don't want to see filled with characters we don't really care about.
Gary Grobowski (Vaughn) and Brooke Meyers (Aniston) were once a loving couple who had everything they thought they needed: each other, a wonderful condo, and jobs that were certain to propel them to bigger and better things. But, now, the relationship is over and neither of them can afford to pay for the mortgage without each other and so they are having to sell, but, until they find a buyer, they must live together. Both, still bitter over the difficult break-up, decide to make each other miserable by flirting with other people, inviting loud friends over, quartering the condo up into different compartments, and more. But, will they realize that they really do love each other and reconcile or is this break-up for good? If you have ever watched a romantic comedy, you know that the entire movie circles around you wanting desperately for the couple to be happy and together at the end. I didn't feel that way at all about the couple in "The Break-Up". In fact, I only wanted them to go their separate ways and to stop the annoying arguing and the backstabbing. Vince Vaughn's character, Gary, in particular, was horribly annoying whenever Aniston's character, Brooke, was around, and, while Brooke was at least likable, many of her actions seemed mean and reprehensible. How could anyone want these two to get together? The relationship was just bothersome and aggravating.
How could "The Break-Up" not work? It had a great cast and the director of "Down with Love" (a bitter, yet hilarious romantic comedy) and "Bring It On" (a hip, edgy teen comedy) behind it? This movie seemed like a sure bet and yet it just doesn't work. It isn't romantic. It isn't funny. It is awkward and the constant arguing gets old very quickly. The characters, themselves, are indeed very strange--almost like parodies of real people, but the movie takes itself far too seriously to allow them to seem realistic. The two main characters are not made out to be people we can really care about. Gary, especially, is despicable for the majority of the movie and Brooke, though the only main character with which we can sympathize, does her fair share of mean things. On top of all of this, where was the humor? Was this supposed to be a comedy? If so, then it is one of the least effective comedies of the year. On a warmer note, Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn give great performances and the actual break-up (and ensuing arguments) are handled realistically. The only problem is: why would anyone really want to see them?
Final Thought: Despite good performances from the leads, "The Break-Up" is an awkward, unfunny movie that fails to engage its audience.
Overall Rating: 4/10 (C+)
Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance
Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance
In Chicago, the art dealer Brooke Meyers feels not appreciated and neglected by her immature boyfriend Gary Grobowski, who is partner with his two brothers in a tourism business, and decides to break-up with him to make Gary miss her. Gary misunderstands her true intention, both follow the wrong advice of family members and friends, beginning a war of sexes with no winner.
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June 13, 2012 at 01:18 PM