Breakin' All The Rules

2006-03-30 12:37

Plot summary:

When trendy magazine editor Quincy's model girlfriend humiliatingly dumps him at their engagement surprise party, he loses his job and ends up living with her alcoholic dog... and a letter he writes her becomes a blockbuster best selling book about how to break up with people without creating a stalker. But his rules for relationships are tested when an attempt to help his heartbreaker best friend dump his girlfriend Nicky brings him together with her, with... well I was going to say hilarious consequences, but laughing during this movie is harder than getting a wet Nike takkie through a meat grinder.


How do I put this... what an awful movie!

It's like Down With Love only with even less emotional impact, more black people, and lashings of bigotry.

Perhaps writer/director Daniel Taplitz was trying to turn the tables, but when he did it, he broke the legs. It apparently didn't occur to him that replacing one squirmingly negative stereotype with another squirmingly negative stereotype does squat to fight prejudice, or entertain audiences.

The characters (actually, caricatures is a better description) in this movie are as two dimensional as a plastic floor tile. And less likeable. The hero of the movie Quincy is played by a sneeringly spineless Jamie Foxx. His love interest is the overly noble (admittedly gorgeous) Gabrielle Union... but Taplitz' coup de grass of bad taste is in the casting and directing of Peter MacNicol (you know him from Ally McBeal) in an overacted, cringe-inducing performance as the short, easily manipulated, cowardly, immature and mean white boss of the magazine where the noble Quincy works.

The central symbolic action - of self-mutilation to prove love - is not just clumsy, but actually visually revolting. Make sure your popcorn box is empty by the time the movie reaches its climax (look out for the train station scene), because you may need something to vomit into.

Don't watch it. Don't hire it.

- Jean Barker

What other crtitics thought:

If you can believe this, the summation of ultimate romantic devotion in `Breakin' is this: are you willing to bite through your own skin? Not, `You complete me.' Not, `Love means never having to say you're sorry.' Now it's, `Please bite through your hand.' We've finally come down to the level of self-mutilation to express feelings, cruelly mistaking pain for passion. Rest assured, there's little to mistake in `Breakin' All the Rules.' It's almost always a pain.
- The Unemployed Critic on IMDB, who gave it 2/10

A clumsy, revolting film that pretends to be about the "battle of the sexes" - but is really just an excuse to trot out negative stereotypes and tired made-for-TV humour.

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