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Overall Rating
2.78

Awesome: 22.22%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 11.11%
Pretty Bad66.67%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 3 user ratings


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Break Up
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by Chris Parry

"Sometimes you can see the money on the screen. Other times you see poopy."
2 stars

Apparently $9m was spent on the production of this flick, but I’ll be damned if I know where the cash went. Perhaps it’s one of those projects where they have 14 executive producers who all get $500k of the production budget and whatever is left over goes towards the actual film, because I could have shot this thing with $40,000 and a couple of rolls of gaffer tape.

Bridget Fonda plays Jimmy, a housewife married to an utter pig of a man. Having deafened her during an episode of domestic violence a year earlier, Jimmy is still with her man, determined to make it work, when he goes crazy ass on her one day, throws her down the stairs, dumps her body in the street and then empties her bank account. He’s a sweetie, this guy.

So onto the scene roll two individuals who just scream straight to video, no matter what they’re in – Kiefer Sutherland and Steven Weber. Kiefer, wearing the kind of slacks that you’d expect your grandmother to buy for you at Christmas, has never looked a bigger dweeb. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the limping geek psychologist he played in Dark City could beat seven shades of shit out of the character he plays in this thing.

Weber, on the other hand, looks like he’s climbed off the set of a Village people movie, complete with handlebar moustache and clothes every bit as tight and dinky as Kiefer’s. I’m not sure if Break Up was supposed to be set in some future time where the law gets their uniforms from Value Village, but it sure resembles that.

Meanwhile, Jimmy’s husband has turned up dead in a car floating down the river. Kiefer thinks she’s innocent, Weber thinks she’s a silly twat who finally got sick of abuse and offed her old man. Jimmy just wants to get her money back. Cue many twists, some stupid moves by the cops, and a whole lot of prelude to sex, with not a lot of pay-off. Penelope Ann Miller, who had us hot for teacher in Kindergarten Cop, appears on the scene as the floozy who actually wants to be with ‘beat-me-boy’, and she’s fine in the role. The only problem is that the man steering this ship (director Paul Marcus) isn’t capable of giving her any room to move as an actor. In fact, he’s not capable of much.

If you can stop yourself from laughing at Weber’s sugar-daddy look for seven seconds, you might just find that there’s a little substance to this screenplay - in fact, compared to such big screen fare as Jennifer Lopez’s Enough, this isn’t half bad. Perhaps if they’d hired a director that had directed anything above the level of TV movies before (or one TV movie, as the case may be) then this film would have gone places. Instead, we’re led from one tiny set to another, with scant action, B-grade actors (Fonda excluded), one dimensional characters, unimaginative camera work and plot-holes so predictable that even Miss Cleo could tell you how it will end.

When watching Beat Up... uh.. I mean Break Up, you get the impression that Bridget Fonda thought she was signing on to a great, meaningful film about domestic abuse. Instead, she found herself stuck with a novice director, a cheap cast, and a far smaller audience than perhaps the subject matter deserves, trying desperately to give a little heart to a production that’s only interested in showing her boob.

And it’s a fine boob too, shown about 23 seconds into the film. Gotta love a director that doesn’t beat around the bush in exploiting his actresses.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=6169&reviewer=1
originally posted: 09/26/02 10:31:36
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User Comments

8/26/07 Kitty C lukewarm enough to make you think it will get hotter but it doesn't. Is there a soundtrack? 3 stars
9/26/04 Harry J Chris Parry is wrong. This is an outstanding movie. 5 stars
8/18/03 MEEE great 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-Feb-1998 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Feb-2000 (MA)




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