Release Date: June 2nd, 2006 by Universal Pictures.
The Cast: Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Anniston, Joey Lauren Adams, Cole Hauser, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman, Judy Davis, Justin Long, Ivan Sergei, John Michael Higgens, Ann-Margret. Directed by Peyton Reed.
BASIC PREMISE: When Brooke (Anniston) and Gary (Vaughn) break up, they try to kick each other out of their condo by making the other jealous.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: How much you enjoy The Break-Up depends on how much you can stand watching Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn fight with one another over and over. Brooke and Gary first meet at a baseball game and, a few years later, they move in with one another. Of course, selfish Gary doesn’t pay enough attention to Brooke and, soon enough, they agree to break up. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to believe they are a real couple because of how little chemistry they have in the first place. Gary seems annoying from the start and just grows even more annoying when they battle each other during the break-up. Unlike in The War of the Roses, their little wars, so-to-speak, feel both contrived and tedious. Vaughn’s good comic timing occasionally allows for somewhat funny scenes, but there’s nothing quotable or laugh-out-loud funny. The real entertainment here comes from the supporting roles, such as Judy Davis, who steals every scene she’s in, Jon Favreau, Justin Long,Ann Margeret and the underrated John Michael Higgens. Joey Lauren Adams has very little to do as Brooke’s friend. Co-screenwriters Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavender awkwardly mix drama, comedy, and romance with very little sensitivity toward its characters or any realistic moments—until the last scene, which does feel believable on its own, but out-of-place within the rest of the film. On a positive note, director Peyton Reed keeps everything moving at a brisk pace.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: A tedious, contrived second act with not enough humor. Also, not enough use of the great supporting actors.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 2
IN A NUTSHELL: Lightweight, mildly entertaining, but ultimately dull and forgettable.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: VHS/DVD
The "B" Menu