The Break-Up

Jennifer Aniston’s recent dramedy The Break-Up, which raked in $38.0 million in its opening weekend, proves that breaking up can sometimes be a good thing even if it’s difficult—in real life and on screen.

The film has been well marketed so you would have had to be living in a bubble in order to not know what this film is about or at least seen the posters. Essentially it’s about a couple who, although in love, can’t seem to make it work after a couple of years being together and impulsively decide to call it quits, but each refusing to give up the Chicago condo that they own together. Thus, they decide to both stay in the condo and make each other miserable with loud music and by bringing over dates. In that respect it’s a less malicious comedic version of War of the Roses, the difference being that the former couple still cares about each other, their just not sure how to fix things and are unwilling to accept that the relationship is over.

Do not go into this film thinking it’s another Wedding Crashers or a goof ball comedy with lots of laughs, because although the film provides quite a few there’s some serious stuff mixed in, proving that like the subject matter breaking up isn’t easy or at least not entirely a laughing matter.

Vince Vaughn provides a lot of his usual fast talking snarky but egregious lines that he’s known for ever since Swingers, but he breaks away from his regular buddy buddy roles that he’s taken on in Old School and Wedding Crashers and proves that he has the chops to be a leading man as well. He also delves into some dramatic territory in the midst of the humor in this film.

I read reviews saying the two stars didn’t have chemistry and that Jennifer Aniston’s character appears cold, which I cannot agree with. I thought the two made a cute pair despite the differences among them and Jennifer was able to make my own heart tug when she breaks down in one particularly emotional scene.

The star power and off screen romantic intrigue makes the film more enjoyable than it probably would have been if it starred another couple, and the great supporting cast helps smooth out the edges and fill in the laughter gaps. For example Vaughn’s Swingers costar Jon Favreau plays a loyal friend and his continual offer to help beat up “the other guy” despite there not being one is amusing as is seeing the two on screen together again. Then there’s the singing brother who is also hilarious; and Judy Davis stars as Aniston’s narcissistic art gallery boss.

There were a few groans of protest from the audience when it came to the ending, but I’m not sure if any other ending would have been realistic.

Overall Grade: B

The Upside:
An enjoyable date movie with a solid cast.
The Downside:
Most of the funnier scenes were shown during the trailers.
On the Side:
Ann-Margret has a small role playing Jennifer Aniston’s mother and and Vincent D’Onofrio plays Vaughn’s older and awkward brother. Apparently there were two different endings filmed, but I guess we can only hope to see them both in a future DVD release.

Film Stats:
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman
Directed by: Peyton Reed
Writing Credits: Jeremy Garelick, Jay Lavender, Vince Vaughn
Country: USA
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some nudity and language.
Run Time: 105 min.
Studio: Universal Pictures (official site)
Watch the Trailer Here

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