The Break-Up (12A)

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The ViewNewcastle Review

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Review byMatthew Turner19/07/2006

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 107 mins

Strong comic performances keep this watchable but it's too depressing to work as a comedy and it's hard to care about the central relationship.

What's it all about?
Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston play Gary and Brooke, a long-term couple who have bought a flat together. However, when a heated argument causes the couple to split up, neither one of them wants to leave the apartment so they each try and force the other one to move out.

The Good
There are some memorable scenes, including one that's destined for freeze-frame glory as Brooke walks naked through the apartment to taunt Gary. There's also strong comic support from a scene-stealing Jon Favreau (reversing their Swingers relationship as Gary's even-more-obnoxious best friend), Jason Bateman (as their exasperated real-estate agent) and Judy Davis, who's hilarious as Brooke's ultra-bitchy boss.

In fact, the supporting cast is packed with good actors and it's a shame that The Break-up sidelines John Michael Higgins and Vincent D'Onofrio as Brooke and Gary's respective brothers.

The Bad
The biggest problem with The Break-Up is that it's really hard to care about the central relationship. Aniston and Vaughn are both talented, appealing actors but there's very little chemistry between them (despite their real-life relationship) and Gary is so obnoxious that it's hard to escape the conclusion that Brooke could do better.

It's clear that director Peyton Reed is aiming for a sort of anti-romcom vibe as he studiously avoids the usual cliches and he should be applauded for resisting an overly sentimental ending. However, the film lacks the courage to go down the vicious black comedy route (a la War of the Roses) and that's really the only thing that could have saved it.

Worth seeing?
In short, The Break-up is never less than watchable thanks to its colourful supporting cast but it's not funny enough to work as a comedy and the ultimate effect is rather depressing.

Film Trailer

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Content updated: 24/07/2012 03:01

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