The Break-Up

Somebody somewhere believed that watching two people argue for ninety minutes is funny.  Well, it isn't.  More people may want to watch The Break-Up for the tabloid fodder (its two stars are now dating), and more power to them.  But any way one can look at it, The Break-Up is not a good movie.  Strangely enough, it calls itself a romantic comedy.  But the very premise of the film does away with the romance, and even with Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers, Mr. and Mrs. Smith) on one side of the arguing, the verbal ripostes are lacking in the comedic department.

The Break-Up begins with a quick recap of the relationship between Gary Grobowski (Vaughn) and Brooke Meyers (Jennifer Aniston, Friends with Money, Derailed).  They met two years ago at a baseball game, and after a small initial hitch, have been dating ever since.  One could argue that the film then picks up where most romantic comedies end; after the two have been together for a while.  The magic is gone, and the two are really annoying each other.  Grobowski takes Meyers for granted.  He dreams about expanding his Chicago tour business with his brothers, but comes home only to let Meyers do all the work.  Meyers is sick of this, and as a last resort, breaks up with Grobowski, only to let him realize what he's missing.

It doesn't even sound like a good premise, but director Peyton Reed (Down With Love, Bring It On) and writers Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavender (who came up with the story with Vaughn) soldier on.  Grobowski and Meyers decide to stay in their condo, turning it into a small war zone of sorts.  Each plays mental games with the other.  Meyers tries to make Grobowski jealous, while he aims lower, and just wants to annoy her. Lather, rinse, repeat. Every time Meyers does something, Grobowski either ignores her, not realizing what she is trying to do, or unwittingly makes things worse by somehow ruining her plan. It is extremely frustrating for Meyers, and extremely frustrating for the viewer.

Aniston and Vaughn do a decent job acting, but again, it's the two of them arguing for most of the film. There's very little context given at the beginning of the film, so nobody really cares if they stay together or not. Instead, they argue and and argue and argue. There are only so many ways to say the same thing, and The Break-Up exhausts them fairly quickly. Adding to the clutter are a number of supporting characters. Most romantic comedies give the guy and girl one or two friends each. The Break-Up gives Meyers and Grobowski at least three apiece, and none of them have anything meaningful to contribute to the film.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 46 minutes, Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some nudity, and language.

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