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TAC Reviews...The Break-Up

 

Made in 2006 this film starred the recently single Jennifer Aniston (following her divorce from Brad Pitt in 2005) and Vince Vaughn. In terms of background that is pretty much all there is to say about it, apart from the fact that it stars Jon Favreau and Cole Hauser.

 

The Break-Up Poster

 

I may have mentioned that Abbie is currently insistent on showing me the “Rom-Coms” that she has taken to watching. These have generally ranged from being shit like Confessions of a Shopaholic to slightly bearable like 27 Dresses. For me most of them have been like a human having their testicles wired to a car battery, but as I also make her watch legendary films like Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Jurassic Park which she doesn’t rate especially highly I guess things even out.

 

I have to admit that every once in a while we watch a film that does make me sit up and take notice, Crazy, Stupid, Love was one such film...but I have just realised that I am going too fast and need to wind things back so I can give you the low down on The Break-Up...

 

Brooke (Aniston) manages an art gallery for her eccentric boss Marilyn Dean, she is dating Gary (Vaughn) a guy she met whilst at a Chicago Cubs baseball game, at some point in the past. The film doesn’t elaborate on how long they have been together.  Gary works as a tour guide in a family business with his two brothers.

 

Gary disrupts a dinner party their two families are sharing because he wants to move the dining table into the lounge so that he can put in a pool table for himself. This forces the relationship between Brooke and Gary to come to a head causing another in a series of arguments in which Brooke asks him to help her out around the condominium they share, and appreciate her a bit more, whereas Gary gets frustrated saying that after being at work he just wants to be left alone for a while and wants more independence.

 

The row gets increasingly heated and ends with Brooke breaking up with him.

 

Hoping that the shock of potentially losing her will prompt Gary to change his rather selfish and self-centred ways, Brooke returns home only to find that he has bought himself a pool table and set it up in the dining room. As they also own the condo together neither is willing to move out.

 

Brooke (who still loves him) is determined to force him to realise what he has, and what he’d be losing in her, whilst Gary is determined to live the life he wants...

 

Remember when I talked about Crazy, Stupid, Love and the thing that bothered me the entire film was the fact that Steve Carell’s character was the wronged party. His wife had sex with someone else, and yet we were inexplicably forced to watch him trying to get her back (whilst his creepy son tried to seduce his babysitter but that was a whole other thing). She was the one in the wrong and yet everyone in that film sided with her and he was cast aside by his so-called friends. The Break-Up reminded me a hell of a lot of Crazy, Stupid, Love because Brooke is the wronged party whilst Gary is the selfish asshole and yet for some reason the film seems to be trying to portray him as this lovable guy that just wants a bit of time to detox at the end of the day.

 

May other massive problem with the film is that Jennifer Anniston plays Brooke, JENNIFER ANISTON, one of the most attractive human women on the planet, if you aren’t convinced then check out this picture...

 

 

Right so, I think any hot bloodied human male can appreciate that she is a very attractive woman, and yet in The Break-Up she is going out with Vince Vaughn, you know, this guy...

 

 

Now don’t get me wrong I have got nothing against Vince Vaughn as a person, I’ve seen him in various film roles and he has the ability to play characters I like (such as Nick Van Owen in The Lost World: Jurassic Park) and ones I don’t...like Gary in The Break-Up.

 

Okay, if you are a guy that looks like Gary, who, let’s be fair is a bit chubby, not got much hair on top, and has a voice that always sounds like he needs to clear it, and you’re dating Brooke, how can you possibly not appreciate her?? If the film had been flipped around and it had been Gary that worked his fingers to the bone for her and she was the one who didn’t appreciate him then that may have worked. A selfish, spoilt, attractive woman learning that the nice guy she’s with isn’t going to take her crap anymore might have worked and the ending could have even been the same.

 

Unfortunately there is nothing that Gary says or does that showed me why she fell for him in the first place. All we see is how they meet and then through the credits various photos of their relationship, until we get to the dinner scene in which they argue over the pool table. In the wake of the argument, Gary doesn’t try to apologise, instead he goes out and gets himself a pool table...

 

 

He does something that he knows is going to upset her and he does it because he is a selfish asshole, and his behaviour gets more and more extreme as the film goes on. Brooke’s plan to make him jealous is ridiculous because she could have any guys she wants so why the donkey bollocking hell does she want him???

 

For a comedy I don’t think I cracked a single smile because I was too annoyed to find anything in the proceedings funny, no tell a lie, Justin Long as the possibly gay assistant that works at the gallery with Brooke. He made me smile once or twice. But that was it. It was kind of tragic watching Brooke trying to keep her relationship with Gary alive, and it isn’t until right at the end that Gary’s friend Johnny (Favreau) points out that whilst everyone is friends with him. Gary never does anything that he doesn’t want to. If his friends are doing something and Gary doesn’t want to, he doesn’t do it. Where was this advice when Brooke broke up with him right at the beginning??

 

Honestly I really don’t understand why Abbie likes films like this, but then perhaps this relates back to the whole “Men are from Mars”... thing because in this instance I am from Brian and she is an artificially created life form that I modelled on a human female so perhaps we are not going to see eye to eye on things like this.

 

I was definitely not a fan of The Break-Up as it was one of the worst of the Rom-Coms Abbie has forced me to endure. Sadly I think it will not be the last. It should come as no surprise that I am giving the film a Thumbs Down, and it is really not worth anyone’s time (especially mine)

 

 

3/10 – Jennifer Anniston walks down a corridor naked at one point and we see her bum in the slightly blurred distance, so assuming it wasn’t a body double, the film has that going for it. Sadly that is about it. Vaughn perhaps plays the part of the selfish Gary too well and I have absolutely no idea how Brooke and Gary got together in the first place.

 

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© Chris Sharman