Gary (Vince Vaughn) meets Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) at a ball game and sweeps her off her feet using only a hot dog and sheer determination. They fall in love and eventually buy an apartment together - a surefire way of tempting fate. One night, Gary buys Brooke too few lemons and all of a sudden a nasty row, which turns horribly personal, ensues. The two call it quits, but despite their newfound loathing for each other, neither is prepared to be the one that moves out. With the help of friends, a handful of sexy dates and the odd empty beer bottle lying on the designer couch, they each try to manipulate the other and drive them out.
If you're expecting a schmaltzy, diluted-for-the-masses romance, you're going to be sorely disappointed when you see this movie. The Break Up is not your typical romantic comedy, despite what you may think given the choice of lead characters. It offers up a very real and often too close for comfort look at the disintegration of a relationship, brought about by nothing more than our inability to simply stop for a second and communicate with each other.
Even the best of us will be able to identify with some of the darker aspects of this movie - the women in the audience are likely to side with Aniston whilst the men will be firmly behind Vaughn's incredulousness towards her actions. It's these insights that save it from descending into yet another chick flick.
Credited with not only acting in the movie but writing the script as well, Vince Vaughn's comedic agility is undeniable. He plays every man's best friend and every girlfriend's worst nightmare - especially the type of girlfriend who appreciates fine art and arranges lemons as dinner party centerpieces. Vaughn has the maddening attention span of a two year old and yet when things heat up in a stream of hateful break-up speech, a very dark and grown up comedy erupts. Perhaps because he has penned the words himself, they come from a comfortable and personal place. His timing and delivery are both impeccable and delightful. In a much anticipated and long overdue departure from her ditzy Rachel days, Aniston comes into her own at last and she and Vaughn's fantastic performances are guaranteed to bring a quiver to your chin.
There are a number of reasons The Break Up is set to be a winner at the box offices, but the most important one has absolutely nothing to do with the movie itself. PR is a wonderful thing. In the wake of the very public break up between Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, the world's heart ached for this poor girl as we all sat by and watched 'Brangelina' run off into the sunset to buy/make babies. There are very few people left on Brad's side apart from his mum and his dog (who sadly never really had a choice), so it's only natural that people will flock to theatres just to catch a glimpse of America's sweetheart and the undeniably loveable man who has swept her off her feet.
In both the box office and the bedroom, move over Mr and Mrs Smith, here come the Vaughns.
- Kate Pare
This ugly yet humorous battle of the sexes deviates from your typical Hollywood romcom and paints a very familiar picture of relationship meltdown. Delightfully, it's not the chick flick you'd expect it to be.
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