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The Break Up
An old formula guaranteed to succeed.
The Break Up
Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston in the Romantic/Comedy "The Break Up".
OPENING WEEKEND: $40,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $155,000,000
OTHER PREVIEWS: Alatriste (7/10)
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

January 21st, 2006: As the film starts, art dealer Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) calls it quits with her tour-bus driver boyfriend, Gary (Vince Vaughn). Since neither one of them is willing to move out of their condo, the two former lovebirds and polar opposites become hostile roommates. At the advice of their friends, each one sets out on a mission to undermine the other through a series of demeaning acts. As the two engage in a standoff to see who will cave first, they find a new appreciation for each other.

What to Expect: With two inexperienced screenwriters and director Peyton Reed, I canít imagine a superb comedy. Reed has a couple of decent films in his past, to be sure, but heís not capable of spectacular results. His Bring It On has had quite a long successful life since coming out in the theaters as it continues to entertain many on DVD and television. It was a quality picture with a satisfying sense of humor, but it was not a revelation. Reedís next comedy, Down With Love, was similarly likable, but flopped completely, despite featuring the red-hot star, Renťe Zellweger. For The Break Up, Reed gets the biggest stars yet in Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston. Vaughn has enjoyed a string of comedy triumphs in the past three years including, Old School, Starsky & Hutch, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and Wedding Crashers. His serious delivery of the trivial material has become a dependable staple in all of his films. Aniston, on the other hand, has become Americaís sweetheart, able to bring in crowds for her comedies and dramas. Ever since her gentle performance in the small indie hit The Good Girl, sheís become one of the Hollywood elite. She scored major box office hits with Bruce Almighty and Along Came Polly, but her last two movies, Derailed and Rumor Has ItÖ, have had a lukewarm reception. Sheís likely to bounce back with The Break Up. A long line of capable performers like Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy), Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), and Vaughnís buddy Jon Favreau (Swingers) should nicely complement the two leads.

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However, the success of this film will rest solely on its two main stars. Letís begin with Vaughn. He has a unique screen presence and an easy-going, sloppy, party guy personality that fits well with his comedies. He can be quite a good actor, but lately, I feel like heís just been dialing-in his performances. When I see him on screen, I canít help, but feel like he just crawled out of bed, said his line and following a long fight with the director, decided that thatís the only take heís willing to give him. I canít argue with the fact that this lazy guy routine is charming, in a way, but it can only go so far. Aniston, in contrast, tries very hard. In fact, she may be trying too hard. Her range as an actress has developed substantially since her Friends days, but I have never regarded her as a talented comedian, preferring her dramatic turns instead. Sheís too pretty and too normal to convincingly pull off eccentric behavior. I feel that she added little to Bruce Almighty or Along Came Polly so itís disappointing that she continues to seek out these types of roles. Honestly, I have difficulty accepting her as Vaughnís equal in a comedy where the two will match wits.

Additionally, itís obvious that Anistonís status as Hollywood royalty is due, in large part, to her beauty and her off-screen relationship with Brad Pitt. I think itís safe to say that all the publicity regarding Anistonís relationship woes will only strengthen the box-office numbers for the comedy. Of course, Aniston and Vaughn have become a real life couple since working on the set together. The Break Up will probably utilize these Hollywood melodramas more than it will utilize genuinely good writing. Thereís really nothing original about putting two polar opposites together in uncomfortable situations. This is the type of manipulative comedy that will expect the audience to come around and believe the dysfunctional love between the two main characters after an hour and a half of truly mean-spirited behavior toward each other.

In Conclusion: A comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and titled The Break Up is box-office gold, no doubt about it, but I question the imagination and the contrived nature of the material. I think that this film will be on par with Along Came Polly as it will continuously shove this implausible couple down our throats despite their reprehensible behavior toward each other. Aniston and Vaughn are bound to wind up together before the credits roll because they are Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn, the two main stars, no other reason. This type of material never works and I doubt that Peyton Reed is qualified enough to create anything above average out of it. The odd pairing and all the supporting talent will not be enough to make the irritating premise work.

On a side note: kudos to Vaughn for the ďPolandĒ shirt seen in the filmís trailer. Thatís the type of throwaway humor that The Break Up would benefit from.

Similar Titles: Along Came Polly, Duplex, Serving Sara
June 2nd, 2006 (wide)
October 17th, 2006 (DVD)

Universal Pictures

Peyton Reed

Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, Joey Lauren Adams, Ann-Margret, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Cole Hauser, John Michael Higgins, Justin Long

Total: 47 vote(s).

Comedy, Romance

Click here to view site

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some nudity and language.

105 min






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