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Average review score based on 119 user reviews
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Despite its seemingly classic date-movie setup, THE BREAK UP bucks romantic comedy tradition at almost every turn. Gary (Vince Vaughn) and Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) are a mismatched couple who meet, develop a seemingly contented relationship, and buy a beautiful condo together within the movie's first few minutes. Soon an all-too-believable fight triggers the title event, and they spend the rest of the movie alternately arguing and playing mind games as they battle over ownership of their beloved condo--and try to decide whether or not they really want this to be the end. In one of the movie's more dangerous yet courageous twists, neither Vaughn nor Aniston play especially likable characters. They never become unpleasant to watch, though, thanks largely to their formidable reservoirs of charisma. Vaughn is a master of the unkempt, immature, and hilarious everyman (OLD SCHOOL, THE WEDDING CRASHERS), while Aniston radiates bewildered decency, even in prickly roles (THE GOOD GIRL, FRIENDS WITH MONEY). Both of them are engaging presences, even when the movie veers away from comedy and into a kind of painful realism, as Gary and Brooke get caught up in a bitter and mean-spirited cycle of fighting that neither of them can win. The script's few weak patches are usually saved by the tremendous supporting cast, including ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT's Jason Bateman as the couple's realtor, Judy Davis as Brooke's boss, John Michael Higgins as her irrepressible, sexually ambiguous brother, and Jon Favreau as Gary's best friend, in scenes that effortlessly recapture some of the duo's SWINGERS chemistry. Peyton Reed, the director of the underrated DOWN WITH LOVE, isn't afraid to make his romantic comedy both unromantic and, occasionally, depressingly truthful, but thanks to the group of actors assembled here, watching a relationship unravel has rarely been more enjoyable.
In order to appreciate The Break-Up you really have to suspend disbelief at the reasons why a couple like Gary (Vince Vaughn) and Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) would actually come together in the first place. The film is well acted and fast paced and also entertaining, and it does a generally good job of showing what happens when love turns into a weapon of mutual destruction.
It's just I didn't quite buy the fact that a somewhat educated and cultured girl like Brooke who works as a art-gallery curator and likes going to the ballet would actually see in a working class schlep like Gary, a voluble if considerably doughy charmer who, with his two brothers (Vincent D'Onofrio) and Cole Hauser), runs a guided tourist service in Chicago.
If you can get beyond this strange lapse of logic, The Break-Up is a mostly fun and astute and features the lovely Jennifer and the clever Vince at their snappish best. The story itself is pretty slim: Brook and Gary meet at a Cubs game, fall in love hard, buy a showpiece apartment together and live happily ever after. All this happens in the opening credits.
It doesn't take long, however, for the cracks to appear in the relationship and the fights inevitably start coming. He doesn't buy the right number of lemons for a dinner party she's hosting for their respective families, and then doesn't do the dishes until she nags him to help. She doesn't understand his needs, which is basically relaxing after a hard day on his feet and watching the ball game. So consequently, after a bitter argument, Brooke impulsively puts an end to their relationship.
The big problem is that they both own the apartment together, and over the next couple of weeks things get worse. Lines are drawn over who can do what and trivial disagreements break out over common space, noise, and eventually escalating into Brooke inviting over dates, Gary inviting over strippers, moving in a pool table, and everything else as the relationship spirals out of control.
The couple's realtor (Jason Bateman) and shared friends, including Maddie (Joey Lauren Adams) and Johnny (Jon Favreau), all get caught up and are forced to take sides. But will Brooke and Gary be able to sort out their differences and stay together, or is the relationship doomed to failure?
I think the strength of the film comes from the biting repartee that takes place between Aniston and Vaughn, especially in the earlier scenes. You really do believe that they are - and have been - a committed couple that are about to explode with frustration at each other's failings. The actors indeed imbue Gary and Brooke with moments of sincere woundedness and the film's arguments - that relationships are essentially about mutual respect and about give and take - come across as remarkably authentic.
As usual in these sorts of Hollywood romantic comedies - and using the term romantic loosely - the supporting cast is filled out with a number of veterans. Judy Davis steals every scene she's in as Brooke's eccentric art gallery boss and Ann Margaret makes a surprise appearance as Brooke's mother.
But the movie ultimately belongs to both Aniston and Vaughn - she's tanned and toned and looks fantastic and he does what he does best - playing the permissive man-child who just refuses to take responsibility for anything, either personal or professional.
The film stalls a bit in its final third; as though the producers are intent to pad the story out and Brooke's motivations for doing what she does rem
Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston's characters have been dating for two years and we even get to watch how they first met. After that meeting, a photo slideshow begins and I have to say, that photographer is amazing. He caught all these adorable moments that you never get to have during your relationship because most of the time it's just the two of you. Honestly, who's taking these beautiful pictures?? Anyway, a typical day starts with a special dinner planned and they have a very typical couple fight. It heightens to a degree that provokes Aniston to call it quits. Thus the break-up begins.
Now watching this movie as a communication major was fascinating because it directly correlates to my knowledge of gender communication to a tee and I hope the professor is using this movie as a teaching tool. Now Jennifer Aniston is being the typical woman who does everything in the relationship in this case. She works all day, then cooks and cleans and when she asks him to do a few simple things to help her out, just as a way of showing appreciation, he turns her down. Unfortunately instead of coming right out and saying these things, she says things like, "Why didn't you bring me twelve lemons like I asked?" or "We never go to the ballet." She never spells it out. Women like to imply what they're saying instead of just saying it.
Vince Vaughn is the typical guy who has a great girl who does everything and he doesn't have to. He loves her but he works all day and believes he's entitled to some down time when he gets home. Then he gets "nagged" by Aniston to do a couple things and he sees it as her nagging him ALL the time and doesn't respect his need to veg out the way he likes to. He needs plain english and takes everything she says literally. When she finally breaks up with him, he believes it's real and if the relationship is over, there is nothing he can do, so he defensively protects his domain and acts like he doesn't care about her. The break-up was a ploy used by Aniston only to raise the stakes. She expected him to come after her, she waited by the door! He thinks there is nothing to save and so he leaves.
What follows is an often funny, sometimes very sad downward spiral into competition and continued miscommunication. They both continue to raise the stakes and the more things Aniston tries to take away from him, the further he gets pushed away. She keeps hoping she'll take away one thing he cherished and he'll suddenly say, "Wow I miss my girlfriend, look at how my life sucks without her. I'll go apologize."
I have to say one of the best comedic devices I've seen in a long time is the acapella group, "The Tone Rangers". I laughed so hard I cried a little when I was in the theatre. Seriously, how can you have a better line than, "You can't take a pitch pipe out of a man's hand when he's in the middle of a tasty groove!" The other funniest part of the movie is Vaughn playing an online video game with a headset connected to a twelve-year old boy and he keeps asking him if his mom is in the room crying at the devastation that is the score.
This is one of the best movies of the year and I can't believe Wedding Crashers gets more hype. This is a great movie, particularly if you're in a relationship. Just don't let those arguments motivate more of your own. The movie SHOWS you how not to fall into that trap. Just watch and learn.
"The Breakup" was previewed as a hilarious upbeat romantic comedy of two seemingly perfectly aligned lovers, who embitter as they begin to breakup. A battle ensues over who will possess the condo. Previews lead us to believe that Vince Vaughn, (King of The Fast-Talking Man's Man) and Jennifer Aniston (Starlett of Screen Comedy -- For Now), will examine this disintegration and find their way back to a better life together and rekindle a dying flame. WRONG !!!! This movie is far from entertaining, as you are subjected to viewing, not a battle of wills, but a battle of serious cruelty towards one another. Aniston tries is some deranged cockeyed way to win Vaughn's affections back by parading men in front of him she clearly expresses she will sleep with; and lonely scenes of Vaughn sitting in a darkened empty livingroom, filled with their former happy memories in framed pictures, watching her from a window, face ingratiated in the angst his heart is wretching in visible in his face, and then drowning his wretched soul in Vodka "ain't funny". It's depressing and far too realistic to be a comedy. "The Breakup" should have been advertised as what it really is: "The Most Depressing Realistic Movie of a Gut-Wrenching, Sorrowful and Mean-Spirited Pair of People The Year Has To Offer." -- I found myself screaming inside my head, "STOP! Talk to each other.... Communicate" -- The hurt doesn't end there as each character's very souls are pummeled by demoralizing insults, actions and harm. I wanted to reach into the movie and make them sit down and talk....alas they don't -- and you will watch them walk away from each other. After witnessing their real love for each other be dragged through the sidewalk sores without regret. Scenes like Aniston standing alone in the empty livingroom and diningroom, tears in her eyes, make you beg the misery to stop. If you love each other, STOP !!!! The point may in fact have been to make you realize that neither character is meant to be liked, therein you never can take a side....but that only made it WORSE!!!! Now you helplessly watch two people go out of their way to hurt each other more and more....and never resolve it. And knowing they really do love one another, (which is strongly revealed in side-scenes where each confides in their own best friends that they love the other but their hurtful actions will "turn the other around and that person will now realize this needs to be fixed" -- WHAT??!! -- It makes you ask: Movies are supposed to be entertaining. If I wanted to end up this distressed or feeling emotionally depressed over the high degree of soul-pummeling hurt this movie displays, I can watch the NEWS or call my EX !!!! -- Skip this one and go out for the night. You'll come home happier.
I am a huge fan of Vince Vaughn - particularly when he lends his talents to comedy!!! So this movie was a fun, and entertaining watch for me in one respect, but in another, oddly uncomfortable!!
The Premise of this plot centers around a couple - Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Anniston whose relationship is fizzling out!! Only they share a nifty Condo which neither party is prepared to lose -so rather than move out; the live together while the relationship goes downhill and the fighting gets more bitter by the day!! But at the same time, there is that slight spark - though it is up to the couple to figure out whether that is for their relationship or their beloved Condo!!!
This is so silly....fully of petty arguing that I am sure we are all guilty of every now and then...and I am sure that we would see it as funny too could we replay it, though we would never admit it...so watching arguments over the silliest of things, will spark a fire of recognition and guilty pleasure in us all!!
However, there are some more emotional scenes embedded within this farce!! And at times it gets a bit much, to the pint of being uncomfortable - if you have ever been out in public and seen a couple involved in an arguement, you feel like you should walk faster to get out of their way - like this is a personal thing then you don't want to see - and this movie can feel like that, to the point where you might get fed up and drained...the comedy is the saving grace in that respect!
At just over 100 minutes, it is a short, bittersweet but funny comedy with an all star cast which also includes Jon Favreau - Vaughn partner from Swingers, Jason Bateman and Joey Lauren Adams!!! It was entertaining but a once only deal!