The Break-Up

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:45 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The Break-Up
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, Joey Lauren Adams, Ann-Margret, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Judy Davis
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Universal Pictures
Release Date: 2006
Kiddie Movie: Definitely more adult subject matter.
Date Movie: Both of you might see some similarities in your own arguments.
Gratuitous Sex: Some strippers.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Quite a few. Even the fights were funny.
Memorable Scene: Brooke, balling her eyes out, finally explaining to Gary what is wrong, and Gary just looking at her and saying, “Why didn’t you just tell me?”
Memorable Quote: Sure, it was in the trailer also, but it’s the line every dude in a relationship wishes he could say: “Why would I want to do dishes?”
Directed By: Peyton Reed

Sometimes while watching a movie I notice the most innocuous things. First, when there was all of the talk of them doing re-shoots for “The Break-Up,” one of the things mentioned was they wanted to make sure things looked current, mentioning that “The Bean,” a wacky piece of art in Chicago, wasn’t completed when they initially did the filming so they came back since it was now complete. Funny, I didn’t remember seeing a shot of “The Bean” in the movie. Then the story changed to something like “We wanted to re-shoot the ending in the matter it was originally written.” So there I am, watching the supposed “new” ending scene, when all I could notice was that one of the cars in the scene seemed to have an old, expired, Illinois license plate on it. The ending scene was nice and all, but now all I could wonder was did some prop dude not realize the Illinois license plate has changed style, or was someone’s car not properly plated. I’ve got to be nuts. Anyway, let’s get to the movie…

“The Break-Up” gives us Vince Vaughn as Gary and Jennifer Aniston as Brooke. Gary is a beer-loving, baseball-loving, fun-time-loving kind of guy. Brooke, well, isn’t nearly that kind of girl, yet she loves Gary. As dude and dudettes in love seem to do, well, they move in together, splitting the mortgage on a condo. But Gary doesn’t seem to appreciate all that Brooke does for him, namely cook, clean, put up with his shit, and look hot for him. Nope, Gary just looks for some down time, preferring to play “Grand Theft Auto” rather than do the dishes. And what dude wouldn’t, as Gary spouts the line most every dude in a relationship would love to spout, “Why would I ‘want’ to do the dishes?” Most dudes, though, know the ramifications of that line, so they keep their mouths shut, but not Gary. And so, our happy couple, that we didn’t actually get to see being that happy together much, break-up. But herein lies the problems: Brooke doesn’t really want to break up. She still loves Gary, but just wants him to appreciate her more. Gary, though, doesn’t pick up that all he needs to say is an “I’m sorry” and “I appreciate you,” because, well, in Gary’s head, he did nothing wrong because Brooke broke up with him. The other problem is since they co-own the condo, neither of them want to move out. So, Brooke hatches plan after plan to make Gary jealous and appreciate her, all of which fail miserably. Gary, on the other hand, still thinks he did nothing wrong, so he begins turning his portion of the condo into bachelor heaven.

Finally things come to a head, their friend finds a buyer for the condo, and the movie takes some of the most realistic turns in a movie about relationships.

The publicity machine for “The Break-Up” seemed to want to promote this movie as a romantic comedy, but really, it isn’t. It actually is a more realistic look at relationships that don’t always seem to go as planned, and that leads to maybe a lot of comedy as we watch from the outside looking in, seeing some of the same arguments in our relationships. You know what happens with that, you lose some of the romance side and instead get a realism a lot of relationship movies don’t have. Look, Brooke is in a relationship trying to get her man to change, only instead of just telling Gary what she asks of him out of the relationship, she tries to manipulate him into seeing things her way. Gary, on the other hand, is a dude who is still trying to figure out what he did wrong when he only bought three lemons instead of twelve, and why it’s wrong for him not to want to do the dishes. When Brooke finally does tell Gary what is really wrong, Gary poses the simple question, “Why didn’t you just tell me that from the beginning?” His buddy, Johnny O (Jon Favreau), finally explains to Gary that Brooke is right, but by this time, things might be too late for our unhappy couple.

There seem to be some complaints about the end of the movie, even the one they re-shot, but I really liked it. The final comment about the re-shoots for the movie state a rumor that test audiences hated the initial ending, so the folks went back for the re-shoot, sticking with the original ending in the original screenplay. I just was happy they stuck with the original ending, or at least this ending, and that’s all I’ll say about this.

Women don’t seem to learn that it is nearly impossible to change their man, especially if they just don’t come out and say what is wrong, because dudes are generally clueless with your manipulations. I liked “The Break-Up” and give it a solid 3 ½ stars out of 5. It would have been 4 stars had we gotten an in-focus shot of Aniston’s “looking fabulous even though it was blurry” butt instead of some dudes in-focus butt. Anyway, finally a more realistic view of a relationship.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!