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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 Rob Gonsalves

"You're not so money and you don't even know it."
2 stars

Gary (Vince Vaughn) is a selfish dweeb. Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) is a passive-aggressive wimp. Why are these two even together?

Don't look to The Break-Up to find out. Apparently building on nothing deeper than a meet-cute at a ball game (in which Gary goofs on Brooke's plaid-shorted date and, by extension, her taste in men), these two seem to have found themselves sharing a generous condo and posing for a variety of look-how-cute-we-are-together photos without actually knowing each other. One hectic night, Gary just wants to decompress in front of ESPN and Brooke has had to clean, cook and get everything ready for a dinner for their prospective mutual in-laws. She wants him to help out. More, she wants him to want to help out. I shouldn't have to ask, you should just know, goes the female argument. I'm not a fucking mind-reader, goes the male argument.

It's all extremely banal and probably shouldn't be compared to such earlier autopsies of love as Alan Parker's Shoot the Moon, to say nothing of Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage. It's meant as a star vehicle for Vince Vaughn, who is responsible for the film on several levels. He has commissioned a film around his usual feckless persona that attempts to insert that persona into a real-world romantic situation, but the result is like expecting Jerry Seinfeld to function inside a Scorsese movie: a very different New York state of mind. (The Break-Up is set in Chicago, where Gary works as a tour guide; his tours serve to remind us what city we're in, since we'd scarcely know otherwise.)

By now it's clear that Aniston is engaging within a tiny parameter of emotion (she was embarrassing, and looked embarrassed, in Derailed); her personality is sitcom-scaled, and it's hard to take Brooke's resentments seriously when they're delivered exactly as they were on Friends, where the laugh track obliged Aniston. Vaughn dominates the movie rather flaccidly, shambling from home to work to barroom, unable even to work up much rapport with erstwhile surefire screen pal Jon Favreau. Such usually on-the-nose performers as Vincent D'Onofrio, Judy Davis, and John Michael Higgins labor pointlessly. The movie begins and ends with predictable oldies already used to better, darker effect in Shaun of the Dead and Grosse Pointe Blank, respectively. Note to Peyton Reed or whoever supervised the soundtrack: Don't begin with the closing tune of a superior film which makes me wish I'd stayed home and watched that again and don't end with the opening tune of a superior film which makes me regret the time not spent at home with that.

I note with some curiosity that the movie grossed $38 million over the opening weekend. Why, exactly? No competition? Residual vibes from "Wedding Crashers"? I'd read enough about "The Break-Up" to expect it not to be the zany film it's being advertised as, but given the heavy involvement of Vince Vaughn, who is not a stupid man, I'd expected something ... smarter. Something that didn't boil down to stereotypes across the board, puerile one-upmanship games, and an utter failure to explain why, indeed, these two even were together.

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originally posted: 06/05/06 10:38:53
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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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