The Break Up
2006 Running time: 107 Certificate: 12 Rating: 3
The Break-Up KA

Synopsis

Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston star in a different kind of romcom as the perfect couple whose relationship goes into a downward spiral following a row - over lemons. The pair create a wonderfully toxic atmosphere (although they fell for each other on set) and the script provides plenty of sharp one-liners for Vaughn's regular sidekick Jon Favreau and the ever-spiky Judy Davis. A love story for the unromantic.

Director

  • Peyton Reed

Cast

  • Jennifer Aniston

  • Vince Vaughn

  • Jon Favreau

  • Joey Lauren Adams

  • Judy Davis

Review

Looking over the shoulders of a couple of shiny Manhattanites vaulting obstacles on the course of true love is a rom-com staple.

So it's quite refreshing to find a movie that reduces the lovey-doviness to a montage...and heads straight for the bile-spewing break-up in lingering slo-mo.

Vaughn, who provided the story as well as taking the lead role, maintains that he's always wanted to make the "anti-romantic comedy."

Here he plays sports jock Gary, a slackerish Chicago tour guide with a lightning line in cheeky chatter and an addiction to late night TV football.

He verbally swept winsome Brooke (Aniston) off her feet at a Cubs game and now they live a life of D.I.N.K.Y bliss in a uber-desirable apartment.

However, the whole romantic edifice turns to emotional dust when a minor domestic spat over lemons escalates into all-out war.

Gary draws up the battle lines by installing a pool table and inviting a bevy of upholstered slappers round for a game of strip poker.

Brooke, secretly desperate to win him back, dates a variety of men (including, bizarrely, a Brad Pitt clone) in a doomed bid to drive a jealous Gary back into her arms.

The intense scenes of a Groundhog Day-style arguments collapsing into a bitter bout of name-calling have the ring of truth about them.

There's also some nice moments featuring Vaughn riffing off his old comedy buddy Favreau and Aniston receiving off-kilter wisdom from her barking gallery boss Judy Davis.

It's pretty formulaic men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus territory but that's offset by well-tuned performances and the odd line you could cut yourself on.

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