The Break-Up

"Weak"

The Break-Up Review


In most romantic comedies, some find themselves pining for the two leads to finally put their differences aside and reunite, slow dancing while an overused R&B tune plays in the background and the comic relief best friend tells a last joke. It's a genre that's been done to death, of course, but perfectly enjoyable when all the elements are in alignment. When the elements aren't there, however, the result is fairly ugly. The Break-Up -- a solid argument against real-life couples being allowed to play opposite each other in purportedly romantic films -- spends about five minutes setting up Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston as a couple and then proceeds to fill the rest of its running time with all the reasons why they really should break up; and well before it's over you'll be wishing they'd just call it quits.

Accomplishing the quite difficult task of neutering the normally volcanic presence that is Vaughn and further dampening Aniston's already meek comedic abilities, The Break-Up takes some quite considerable assets and squanders them completely. Vaughn and Aniston play Gary and Brooke, a couple who meet-cute at a Cubs game, are shacked up together in a nice downtown condo before the end of the credits, and are relentlessly bickering and splitting up just a few minutes later. Vaughn plays Gary as a more muted and oafish version of his standard motormouth self -- not a pleasant creation -- which leads one to believe that the film will eventually allow him to use his charm to win back the uptight and angry but still in-love Brooke. The critic's oath precludes this writer from giving away the admittedly surprising (though not necessarily in a good way) ending, but what can be said is that little in this film goes as expected.

The jury-rigged patchwork of scenes starts off poorly with a tense family dinner party whose primary purpose is to allow John Michael Higgins, a Christopher Guest regular, time for a funny but utterly beside the point musical number, and just goes downhill from there. Scenes that start interestingly -- such as a potentially hilarious one in a nightclub with Gary's creepy idiot brother (a surprisingly funny Cole Hauser) -- have a tendency to trail off without resolution or explanation. The whole thing is done without much style, surprising given that director Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Down with Love) has in his checkered past shown at the very least an ability to bring an energy and verve to his movies that is entirely lacking here.

With the exception of a couple of scenes with Vaughn and Jon Favreau (as a slightly psychotic bartender/best friend), there's little enough real humor to call this woeful little orphan a comedy, and only the faintest glimmerings of romance. In fact, what comes seeping through all the film's disjointed seams is a melancholic mood, egged on by Jon Brion's haunting score, seemingly composed for another film entirely. Completely out of their element are Vincent D'Onofrio, who seems to think that bundling up a pile of neuroses and tics can make a performance, and Judy Davis, giving a far better and nuanced performance than called for in her too-small role as Brooke's diva of a boss. She must have thought she was performing in a real film, poor thing.

I'm having Lucky Charms, how about you?



The Break-Up

Facts and Figures

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd June 2006

Box Office USA: $118.7M

Box Office Worldwide: $205M

Budget: $52M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures, Mosaic Media Group, Wild West Picture Show Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 33%
Fresh: 63 Rotten: 126

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Scott Stuber, , Stuart Besser

Starring: as Gary Grobowski, as Brooke Meyers, as Addie, as Lupus Grobowski, as Johnny O, as Riggleman, as Marilyn Dean, as Christopher, as Carson Wigham, as Richard Meyers, as Wendy Meyers, Vernon Vaughn as Howard Meyers, as Dennis Grobowski, Elaine Robinson as Carol Grobowski, Jane Alderman as Mrs. Grobowski

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.