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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 Lybarger

"Well, it’s better than 'Gigli.'"
2 stars

Just because performers click romantically off-screen doesn’t mean you need to pay good money to watch them in movies that are less interesting than the stories they inspire in supermarket tabloids. The real-life sparks that flew between Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy are evident on screen. The same cannot be said for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez or dozens of other acting couples. At times, you almost wonder if a couple’s splits or reconciliations are more devoted to release dates than to the call of their own hearts.

Such seems to be the case of the new Vince Vaughn-Jennifer Aniston comedy “The Break-Up.” As you’ve probably noticed while buying groceries, Aniston’s former husband Brad Pitt dropped her for Angelina Jolie and went to Namibia to have their child.

Lots of ink has been spilled since about Aniston’s subsequent hookup with her current co-star Vaughn. Curiously, the two aren’t that fun to watch together.

The limp story, credited to Vaughn, Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavender could be a factor. Neither of the actors has an interesting role. Vaughn plays a funny but immature tour guide named Gary who starts a two-year relationship with a driven art dealer named Brooke (Aniston).

Gary thinks the floor can be used as both a storage and disposal device, and Brooke gets upset if Gary can’t get her the 12 lemons she requires for a decorative place setting.

With these differing philosophies and with their stubborn dispositions, it’s safe to say their relationship is over.

The split gets ugly because neither can single-handedly afford the steep mortgage for their Chicago condo. The two also lay claim to individual rooms and do everything in their power to annoy each other. Of course, both are secretly longing for the magic that had been in their relationship to return.

The main problem with “The Break-Up” is that we never really see that magic. Gary and Brooke’s meeting over hot dogs at Wrigley Field has some laughs, but we never get any indication what each of the lovers ever saw in each other. As a result, a lot of “The Break-Up” feels like a slow journey toward the inevitable.

It’s hard to empathize with their longing for each other if all we see is their petty bickering. There’s also a nagging sense that Gary and Brooke have unusually easy lives (Brooke is told to take time off for her relationship blues, and Gary is always happy to pass the buck to his brothers in running his business).

For a romantic or even an anti-romantic comedy, it’s essential that the leads have at least some chemistry. Vaughn is much funnier quibbling with an old buddy played by his real-life pal and collaborator Jon Favreau than he is with Aniston.

John Michael Higgins has a brief but amusing role as Aniston’s singing-obsessed brother. It’s odd that even though Vaughn is also credited as a producer and set the story in his hometown, he’s failed to give himself anything interesting to do. In many cases, the supporting players like Cole Hauser and Judy Davis have more entertaining characters than either of the leads do.

Unless you cry yourself to sleep every night over the cancellation of “Friends” or pray every morning that Aniston has finally met her perfect match, there’s no reason to see a comedy that’s not nearly as funny as the new remake of “The Omen.”

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originally posted: 06/02/06 14:21:52
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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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