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Overall Rating

Awesome: 2.94%
Worth A Look49.02%
Average: 9.8%
Pretty Bad: 29.41%
Total Crap: 8.82%

11 reviews, 36 user ratings

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Break-Up, The
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by Scott Weinberg

"Break out the paint roller!!"
4 stars

The gimmick behind Peyton Reed's "The Break-Up" is so simplistic and obvious that it's been used as sitcom filler for the past 40 years: Two lovers/roommates have a huge falling out, but find themselves stuck living together in the same domicile. I kept waiting for someone to show up and say "OK fine, I'm gonna paint a line down the middle of the room, and this side is MINE and that side is YOURS." Fortunately "The Break-Up" is just a little bit smarter than your average sitcom, plus it's got a sterling silver ensemble cast that salvages the flick at every turn.

Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston star as a pair of young lovers who, after a particularly lame dinner party, have a massive argument and then decide to break up. But the condo they share is so amazingly perfect, plus its denizens are decidedly pig-headed head-butters, so Gary and Brooke try to live together without tearing each other's throats out.

That's pretty much it, plot-wise. The Break-Up is not a particularly deep or densely-layered romantic comedy, but it does manage to mine a personal and familiar place: bickering. We fight because we're annoyed, but we stay because there's still some real love hiding in the background, patiently waiting for the childishness to subside. Pride, jealousy, pettiness, you name it. If you've ever been in love with someone, you've dealt with the arduous emotional bullshit that The Break-Up focuses on.

But wait ... this is a comedy, right? A romantic comedy starring that little ray of sunshine from Friends and that hilariously gangly goofball from Wedding Crashers, right?

Yep, which might explain why The Break-Up falls well short in the "truth & consequences" department, but hey: A for effort, right? Most romantic comedies are content to wade completely into the Moronic Fantasy pool, but The Break-Up earns some extra credit for actually mining a topic that "normal Joe & Jane" might actually be able to recognize.

While I doubt anyone would call The Break-Up "consistently hilarious," the flick maintains a fairly reliable chuckle delivery. Vaughn is his typically amusing motor-mouthed self, only this time he's trying on a T-shirt made of sensitivity, and the thing seems to suit him pretty well. Ms. Aniston is charming and symapthetic ... although she's really not all that funny, truth be told.

But there's a huge chest of buried treasure hidden beneath the floorboards of The Break-Up, and it's a windfall I like to call The Supporting Cast. Not one of the following folks are given enough to do in the flick, as it's basically The Vaughn & Aniston Show all the way, but there's no denying that folks like Jason Bateman, Joey Lauren Adams, Judy Davis, Cole Hauser, Vincent D'Onofrio, John Michael Higgins, and (especially) Jon Favreau and a whole lot of spice to the proceedings. Hell, even Justin Long gets to take the terribly overused "gay receptionist" stereotype and wring a few laughs out of the thing.

Perhaps not as honest or insightful as it could have been, "The Break-Up" still works better than it reasonably should. It's a paper-thin and somewhat one-note concept, brought to life by a B+ screenplay, a fantastic cast, and a director who's fast becoming an expert in the fine art of cinematic comedy.

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originally posted: 06/03/06 23:21:57
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User Comments

12/24/13 Michelle O the butt & side boob shots did NOT makeup for the Aniston/Vaughn verbal abuse 1 stars
3/18/13 Mireya funny movie 4 stars
8/31/11 Layla Why is it that men are "always wrong" in movies? She was manipulative. 2 stars
9/17/10 student of rhetorical criticism @Alejandra how do you think it depicts sexism.Iwhat are the stereotypes author talks about 4 stars
8/16/09 Dkl Underrated, certainly better than the critics general consensus 4 stars
7/12/09 the dork knight Vince acts like a petulent child. Not exactly an equal playing field if you're male. 3 stars
7/06/08 John Millheim Funny, Jen and Vince fighting was a trip 4 stars
8/13/07 Annonomiss Bickering got old. Was it trying to be a comedy or a drama? Elements of both. Skip it. 2 stars
5/24/07 ES Some really good jokes, a great story and terrific performances with an ending that works 4 stars
2/18/07 David Pollastrini jen looked great walking through the house naked! 4 stars
12/29/06 Kimberly The movie got to the end and we were like, "that's it??" I think the ending was really bad 2 stars
12/04/06 Alejandra Depicts the sexism in society today 5 stars
11/26/06 dawna so who thinks they get back together? 4 stars
11/24/06 cody a ok movie with good performance by jennifer and vince, but the ending suck. 2 stars
10/29/06 Alyssa very good movie. but definitly should not be recognized as a comedy. 4 stars
10/25/06 Drew G All of the funny scenes were in the trailer... everything else was just depressing 2 stars
10/23/06 Cara Critics are not giving it enough credit. Was an excellent, yet different movie. 5 stars
9/03/06 Christopher Stucky Left a bad taste... mean-spirited and not very funny. 3 stars
8/26/06 Steve-O Vaughn was hilarious, Aniston was adorable, and it gave me an ending I could respect. 4 stars
8/06/06 Erik Van Sant I'm still amazed I liked this. Vaughn was funny, Aniston was bleh... ballsy ending. 4 stars
6/30/06 jcjs i liked it, funny, real, Jennifer beautiful as usual, Vince great..Chicago, yeh..nice show 4 stars
6/25/06 Alejandro Luna Anniston's lame performnce and weepy girl act is really starting to rattle my cage 1 stars
6/19/06 Mase Aniston=Tanned Skeleton, Vaughn and Favereu=slobby pigs!! otherwise pretty funny 4 stars
6/18/06 Violet Absolutely the best movie in a very long time. Must see for men of all ages. real life 5 stars
6/12/06 Brent I liked the funny parts, but it's a downer - I feel like throwing myself off a bridge now 4 stars
6/11/06 Joe Smaltz two hours of my life I will not recover. Gigli, Ishtar,& Waterworld were more interesting 1 stars
6/08/06 btvs2678 was ok, good rental. If going thru a break up wait to see it or you will be hurting 3 stars
6/07/06 Maxima Cirunay Worth a look; realistic! 4 stars
6/06/06 Christen disappointing-made to look funnier and better than it is-wait til it comes out on video 3 stars
6/05/06 Melina very funny and the fights were painful and hit close to home 4 stars
6/05/06 Lord Jiggy Much funnier than critics are giving it credit for...enjoyable. 4 stars
6/04/06 michael close to real life for some but worth watching 4 stars
6/04/06 Sarah Was unrealistic that they never tried it again or had "make up sex." 4 stars
6/04/06 Roberta Mendlovitz unfortunately a true, very true story see it! 4 stars
6/03/06 San Lamar it had its moments, good to see at least once 4 stars
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  02-Jun-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 17-Oct-2006



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