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Customer Review

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I want you to help me for a change", 18 Oct. 2006
This review is from: The Break Up [DVD] (DVD)
In order to appreciate The Break-Up you really have to suspend disbelief at the reasons why a couple like Gary (Vince Vaughn) and Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) would actually come together in the first place. The film is well acted and fast paced and also entertaining, and it does a generally good job of showing what happens when love turns into a weapon of mutual destruction.

It's just I didn't quite buy the fact that a somewhat educated and cultured girl like Brooke who works as a art-gallery curator and likes going to the ballet would actually see in a working class schlep like Gary, a voluble if considerably doughy charmer who, with his two brothers (Vincent D'Onofrio) and Cole Hauser), runs a guided tourist service in Chicago.

If you can get beyond this strange lapse of logic, The Break-Up is a mostly fun and astute and features the lovely Jennifer and the clever Vince at their snappish best. The story itself is pretty slim: Brook and Gary meet at a Cubs game, fall in love hard, buy a showpiece apartment together and live happily ever after. All this happens in the opening credits.

It doesn't take long, however, for the cracks to appear in the relationship and the fights inevitably start coming. He doesn't buy the right number of lemons for a dinner party she's hosting for their respective families, and then doesn't do the dishes until she nags him to help. She doesn't understand his needs, which is basically relaxing after a hard day on his feet and watching the ball game. So consequently, after a bitter argument, Brooke impulsively puts an end to their relationship.

The big problem is that they both own the apartment together, and over the next couple of weeks things get worse. Lines are drawn over who can do what and trivial disagreements break out over common space, noise, and eventually escalating into Brooke inviting over dates, Gary inviting over strippers, moving in a pool table, and everything else as the relationship spirals out of control.

The couple's realtor (Jason Bateman) and shared friends, including Maddie (Joey Lauren Adams) and Johnny (Jon Favreau), all get caught up and are forced to take sides. But will Brooke and Gary be able to sort out their differences and stay together, or is the relationship doomed to failure?

I think the strength of the film comes from the biting repartee that takes place between Aniston and Vaughn, especially in the earlier scenes. You really do believe that they are - and have been - a committed couple that are about to explode with frustration at each other's failings. The actors indeed imbue Gary and Brooke with moments of sincere woundedness and the film's arguments - that relationships are essentially about mutual respect and about give and take - come across as remarkably authentic.

As usual in these sorts of Hollywood romantic comedies - and using the term romantic loosely - the supporting cast is filled out with a number of veterans. Judy Davis steals every scene she's in as Brooke's eccentric art gallery boss and Ann Margaret makes a surprise appearance as Brooke's mother.

But the movie ultimately belongs to both Aniston and Vaughn - she's tanned and toned and looks fantastic and he does what he does best - playing the permissive man-child who just refuses to take responsibility for anything, either personal or professional.

The film stalls a bit in its final third; as though the producers are intent to pad the story out and Brooke's motivations for doing what she does remain bit of an enigma - first she loves him then she doesn't and we're left to infer some of her feelings rather than bear witness to them. In the end, though, The Break-Up is at least partially notable for showing both lead actors at their best, but the film also shows off some terrific views of the beautiful city of Chicago. [...]
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Feb 2010 14:16:32 GMT
Really clear,helpful and descriptive,many thanks!!!!
Tracey Hall.
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