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!!!

Chasing Amy

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:51 Long
A Review by:
Stu Gotz

Chasing Amy
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee, Dwight Ewell, Jason Mewes
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Miramax Films
Release Date: 1997
Kiddie Movie: Way over the heads of anyone not at least in high school and even then it could be a stretch.
Date Movie: Not if there are romantic or sexual complications in your relationship. Trust me on this one!
Gratuitous Sex: Just some heavy smooching between girls.
Gratuitous Violence: Nope.
Action: Not really.
Laughs: I almost pissed myself.
Memorable Scene: I really liked it when Banky was asking a ton of questions about the whole lesbian love thing between Alyssa and her lover. The guy has no shame and a huge set of balls to be posing the questions how he does. Very funny!
Memorable Quote: Too many to list.
Directed By: Kevin Smith

The movie’s premise was simply put to me “it’s a romantic comedy where a geeky cartoonist falls in love with a lesbian.” “Hmmm. . .” I thought, “A romantic comedy with lesbians. Has potential.” Then when I found out who wrote it, well, “Chasing Amy” rose to the top of my “must see” list.

“Chasing Amy” was written a directed by Kevin Smith of “Clerks” fame and “Mallrats” flame (as in disaster). I loved the dime budgeted “Clerks” and actually was one of the few people who didn’t demand an apology from Kevin for “Mallrats.” I think Kevin learned a lot from his poorly received second movie and it shows in this, the third installment of his “Jersey” trilogy. What I think he learned is that he is best at writing witty and sharp dialog between characters and that he doesn’t need big sets, stunts, or good acting to get his point across. Basically, in “Chasing Amy,” Kevin concentrated on what his characters would say and how they would react. When his characters do speak and react it doesn’t come off as being contrived or “Hollywood Cookbook” dialog mishmash. What I’m trying to say is that the movie feels real.

So we know the movie is about a dork falling in love with a dyke and we can all assume there will be turmoil there from, right? Right. But the movie is so much more. I don’t want to over analyze this thing, however, the movie really does do a great job of bringing out romantic and friendship emotional issues in a way that’s not dull and often funny.

Here’s how it breaks down. Holden (Ben Affleck) and Banky (Jason Lee) are life long friends that have found success together as the comic artist team for “Bluntman and Chronic” (which is a loose spoof and interpretation of their old friends Jay and Silent Bob from Jersey). All is going well for the artistic duo until Holden falls for a cartoon artist he meets at a trade show. Alyssa Jones (Joey Adams) is a talented blonde knock-out with a thing for girls. Banky realizes this is a love that cannot be, and tries to save his buddy from heartache, but Holden won’t accept that. He pursues Alyssa nonetheless under the false pretense of friendship. As you might expect things come to a head, Holden bares his soul, Alyssa freaks out, and the two fall in love. HUH?!? I thought she was gay. I guess she, and the movie so quaintly puts it, “just needed some dick.” All is going well until Banky tries to bridge the gap created by Alyssa by digging up some dirt on her, and boy does he find some ugly shit! This shit he finds is so ugly that Holden foolishly thinks he can’t live with it. Remember in “Clerks” how Dante couldn’t deal with the fact that his girlfriend had sucked 36 cocks before his? Well Holden takes that feeling to the 10th power, and there ends the romance and the artistic duo’s friendship too in somewhat of an unexpected confrontational ending (I won’t give it away). So sad.

So what is the lesson we are supposed to learn? Well, aside from the fact that females are evil I think Kevin wants to say that the past is just that and in a relationship look to the future. Ohhh, how sweet. “Chasing Amy” is not a hugely romantic comedy and has some mixed acting, but nonetheless it is a movie I would recommend seeing for its dialog and creative character scenarios. In my mind “Clerks” is still an edgier movie, but “Chasing Amy” is a close second. I liked “Chasing Amy” and I give it 4 out of 5 stars and I’m Stu Gotz. ’nuff said.