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The Break-Up (Widescreen Edition) (2006)

Comedy movie directed by Peyton Reed

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Waste of a good cast!

  • Oct 22, 2007
I only just saw this film. After all the mediocre reviews when it came to theatres...I wasn't exactly clamboring to see it. But yesterday, it presented itself and we had time to kill... And now I know why it wasn't much of a hit.

The trailers of the film promised a comedy about breaking up...and showed lots of Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughan...two performers who have a lot of goodwill stored up with the public. YIKES! They used much of it up on this flick. Anyway, all the "funny" stuff was in the trailers. There is very little to laugh at here.

That would be okay if this were a serious exploration of the death of a relationship, with some lighthearted modern sensibilities. Nope, what we get is a shrill and unlikeable couple who never belonged together in the first place yelling at each other!

That is the film's biggest (and fatal) flaw. We see the two meet in the opening scene, in a way that was completely unbelievable. Cut to opening credits which show a montage of Vaughn, Aniston and various friends and relatives in a series of still photos. We see that these two became a long-term couple, cuz we see lots of shots of them kissing. Or looking drunk.

Somehow they buy a condo together, and when the relationship implodes, the battle over the condo is almost as important as anything else...particularly to Vaughan. We simply NEVER see these two together as a happy couple. The very first scene after the credits shows the relationship teetering. Then there is a highly uncomfortable "family dinner" scene, in which Aniston's closeted brother (played by the usually wonderful John Michael Higgins) sings an a capella version of "Owner of A Lonely Heart." Then, the families leave and the two fight, break up, and then they spend the rest of the movie one-upping each other.

WAR OF THE ROSES, with Michael Douglass and Kathleen Turner, explored similar ground with bitter, brilliant and painfully funny results. Their one-upmanship with each other was far more brutal than the silly pranks Aniston and Vaughan pull. See that movie if you want a true BLACK comedy about breaking up at all costs.

BREAKING UP, as I said, has tiny laughs every so often. But mostly you watch and shake your head and wonder "why were these two ever a couple and why do I hate Vince Vaughan and Jennifer Aniston so much?" We don't really care what happens to either character. We only see them at their worst. Then end of the film looks for a bittersweetness...which it actually achieves a tiny dose of. But otherwise, the tone of the movie is uneven. It wants to be a wacky romantic comedy...but it misses the romantic part, the comedy part and mostly the wacky part too. (Judy Davis and Justin Long are the funniest parts of the movie, as Aniston's boss and co-worker...sadly, their characters really belong in another movie.) On the other hand, Vincent D'Onofrio is plays Vaughn's inexplicably odd older brother, Jon Favreau plays Vaughn's friend as a complete jerk and Jason Bateman is given nothing to do (and pretty much does that). And Ann Margret shows up pointlessly in one scene as Aniston's mother.

What a waste of talent. I can't think of a single good reason to see this film. It only gets manages the second star out of sentimental liking for Vaughn, Aniston, Bateman and Judy Davis.

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More The Break-Up (2006) reviews
review by . December 23, 2010
There are some hilarious moments in this movie, but overall it just reminds me of watching a dysfunctional couple, which is more irritating than funny. It seems the script just finds a bunch of frivolous reasons for Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn to fight, and then lets them yell their heads off. Think of divorced parents fighting, and you'll get the idea. The Break-Up just doesn't do a good job of drawing out the humor of the situations, and instead comes across as a bit too serious.
review by . December 11, 2006
Although Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau again team up for some of the comedic scenes, this movie is not a complete disappointment. If you like VV you may enjoy the first hour of this film; after that it descends into predictability, strained comedy, and gay stereotypes from the 80's.    Vaughn gets sole credit for adding any substance to this film. And I do mean ANY. Vincent D'Onofrio, a good actor, is wasted in an inscrutable part, a deranged older sibling who runs the tourism …
review by . October 24, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Coming off the coattails of 'Rumor Has It,' Jennifer Anniston rises to popularity in 'The Break Up,' which is well deserved because she gives a great performance. Too bad she isn't in as good a movie.     Here she plays Brooke Meyers, a Chicago art dealer. She meets Gary Grabowski (Vince Vaughn), a Chicago tour guide with a funny, spirited pitch for tourists. They meet at a hallmark Chicago place, Wrigley Field, for a Cubs' game. He sees her, falls in love, and tries to flirt …
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Ranked #147
I've got my own site, www.afilmcritic.com, on which I'm posting my reviews. I am 46 years old, married 25 years, two kids (23 & 18) and currently work in accounting/finance. I spent 15 years … more
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About this movie


The combined star power of Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers,Swingers) and Jennifer Aniston (Bruce Almighty,The Good Girl) makesThe Break-Upa high-profile romantic comedy. Gary (Vaughn) and Brooke (Aniston) find that their brittle relationship may have reached the breaking point--but neither is willing to give up the condo they co-own. As their fighting grows increasingly bitter, neither is sure if they're fighting to get out of the relationship or to save it.The Break-Upis an odd combination of realistic scenes that capture the harsh yet human ways that lovers can hurt each other, and broad comic scenes with a more farcical edge. Both types of scenes are entertaining on their own terms--the movie is never boring--but they don't fully mesh, and as a result it's hard to engage emotionally with either Gary or Brooke. But the sterling supporting cast--including Jon Favreau (Wimbledon), Cole Hauser (The Cave), Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy), John Michael Higgins (A Mighty Wind), Justin Long (Dodgeball), Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), Vincent D'Onofrio (Happy Accidents), and the ever-delirious Judy Davis (Husbands and Wives)--give every scene they're in a boost of comic energy. An uneven but enjoyable movie that may suffer from viewers having overly high expectations due to Vaughn and Aniston's celebrity.--Bret Fetzer
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Director: Peyton Reed
DVD Release Date: October 17, 2006
Runtime: 106 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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