The Break Up
2

  • Peyton Reed
  • 2006

After a quick bust up following a family meal, tour guide Gary (Vince Vaughn) and artists associate Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) come to the conclusion that it may be time to take a time out from each other, the reason being that Gary doesn’t appreciate all the things Brooke does for him and Brooke won’t give Gary any room to breathe. Unfortunately they both live in a shared condo and both refuse to leave, so they go through the painful process of a break-up, whilst falling back on friends and struggling to forget about each other because they’re around each other twenty four seven.

…Despite a cast and marketing campaign that screams rom-com there’s practically nothing romantic or funny about it

If the plot summary may sound brief that’s because the plot is brief to say the least. Vaughn and Aniston go through the rigmarole of breaking up with each other pretty much from the outset until a conclusion is finally reached by the end of the film. Despite a cast and marketing campaign that screams rom-com there’s practically nothing romantic or funny about it. If you’ve ever been in a room where two of your friends have suddenly broken up for some piddling reason then you will know that there is nothing funny, entertaining or watchable about the whole proceedings and surprise surprise, The Break Up is neither funny, entertaining or watchable.

After a big discussion about the various things that start to gripe each other about the relationship Gary and Brooke call it quits, despite the fact that they’re still in love with each other, but neither one wants to lose face. Cue a string of events involving Brooke bringing numerous guys home to make Gary jealous, and Gary hitting back in a similarly idiotic way to out-do her. Draw this tedious routine out for an hour and ten minutes and you have the makings of a very bad film founded around an incredibly tedious sitcom formula. And if you think that’s bad the whole proceeding kicks off over an argument about lemons.

…If you’re planning on seeing The Break Up I suggest you go home and piss in your partner’s shoes

Films by and large are about entertainment and watching people argue for the duration of a film isn’t entertaining. A break up can be the source of brilliant, moving and heartbreaking drama, as Neil Jordan’s wonderful The End Of The Affair (1999) proves, but there is absolutely nothing innovative, entertaining or sympathetic about watching two pricks arguing about lemons and behaving in such a fucking despicable way. If you’re planning on seeing The Break Up I suggest you go home and piss in your partner’s shoes because you’ll have an equally shit time without having to pay for the privilege. An absolute travesty.

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