Movie Spotlight: The Break-Up

Synopsis: When Gary meets and falls in love with Brooke, they decide to move into a condo together. The relationship gets threatened when their different perspectives clash and ultimately lead to a tumultuous break-up. No one wants to move out of the condo, which leads to a tug of war of who should get what and screaming matches.

Desolately Short Opinion: The movie borders on being cheesy, but the plot sets it straight and ultimately makes it a winner by being fresh and riveting. Instead of the usual happy ending, the ending of the story is amicable. We get to see how the couple met when Brooke is enjoying herself watching baseball at a packed stadium and Gary, in typical guy fashion, decides to make a nuisance of himself to catch her attention.

Desolately long opinion

When Vince Vaughn decided to produce a romantic comedy around 2005, we reckoned he had an “aha moment” and realised there are not enough movies that depict what actually happens when Sally and Harry live ‘’happily ever after” together, and so The Break Up was released in 2006. Yeah sure, love stories are overdone and a little stale to a point that we turn our nose at the mere mention of them, but before you give it a toss, the film was produced on a budget of $52 million, grossed over $200 million and managed to scoop up some awards (ASCAP Film and Television Award for Top Box Office Films). The movie also stars our favourite Rom-com actress, Jennifer Aniston as Brooke. Brooke’s artsy antics, and belief in decorating a room to allow good feng shui, and the stoic Gary, played by Vaughn, couldn’t be bothered if the table is antique and used to belong to Picasso himself, as long as it’s sturdy enough to place both his feet on it and stack his beers. Their mannerisms and obvious chemistry covers the romantic side of the movie and their friends’ advice can be seen as the comedic flavour. That is enough to be a treat.

What the critics had to say

Movie critics weren’t swayed by this movie. The general consensus is that the movie is more of a drama than a comedy, but we are not part of the general consensus. I think the fights were meant to be trivial (which they were, Gary just wanted a pool table and Brooke wanted 12 lemons for décor) and the aftermath of it was supposed to be funny and their venting sessions with their friends were also hilarious. The Break-Up did fairly well commercially, and numbers don’t lie.

What we liked in particular

  • The supporting casts are the actual stars of this movie
  • Johnny’s self-depreciating jokes
  • Christopher, who is a human happy pill
  • Lupus’ mordant humour

What we didn’t like so much

  • The Richard character was unnecessary and all that singing was an earsore
  • The absence of Gary’s parents is not explained

What we would have liked:

  • The movie was not meant to be a conventional romantic comedy, so Addie could have been a single mother instead
  • Lupus’ candid, and rather harsh advice, there’s some truth to what he says and should have been given more screen time
  • Gary should have let down his walls sooner

Some fun facts about The Break-Up:

  • Sparks were obviously ignited between Jennifer and Vince while acting out their fight scenes because they dated for about a year before they called it quits
  • They both married again, Vince Vaughn to Kyla Weber and is now a father of two and Jennifer Aniston is married to a fellow actor, Justin Theroux
  • They both went on to star in and produce more romantic comedy movies
  • Joey Lauren Adams, who plays Addie, Brooke’s best friend and voice of reason, is actually a veteran actor who has acted in over 40 movies

So is The Break-Up worth a watch or not?

It’s worth a watch and a repeat. The love cynic would enjoy it and the believers will learn a thing or two. There are some knee-slapping comedic scenes, a slap of reality thanks to Gary and Brooke’s charged fights, a dose of snotty grunts by some of the things the supporting characters say in an effort to help the couple and edges on tearful moments when Gary finally puts his guard down. The fresh take on romantic comedy is commendable. This movie also reminds us why a relationship needs more than love for it to last. It’s definitely a pleasant watch over a bowl of popcorn all alone as well.

Tsholofelo Mabona

Tsholofelo Mabona

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Couple quick ground rules: Please, don't jump off the bus. Weird. Not fun for anybody. Also, no throwing objects at pedestrians. Unless, of course, they deserve it, okay?
Tsholofelo Mabona

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Couple quick ground rules: Please, don’t jump off the bus. Weird. Not fun for anybody. Also, no throwing objects at pedestrians. Unless, of course, they deserve it, okay?