The Break-Up (2006)

Comedy, Drama, Romance
Jennifer Aniston, Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Joey Lauren Adams
In a bid to keep their luxurious condo from their significant other, a couple's break-up proceeds to get uglier and nastier by the moment.
This anti-romantic comedy lacks both laughs and insight, resulting in an odd and unsatisfying experience.
  • Universal Pictures Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 02 Jun 2006 Released:
  • 17 Oct 2006 DVD Release:
  • $118.7M Box office:


Not your conventional romantic comedy - and that's a good thing7/10
As mama used to say, "The extent of the nourishment you get from your
entertainment water is directly related to how deep your well of
expectations runs." I always thought mama was a bit too verbose in her
metaphorical philosophizing, but there's truth in them there words!

Thanks to Hollywood's constant desire to market films based on what
they feel they have to trick people into thinking they're about, some
audiences will likely go to see The Break-Up, ignore the insinuations
of the movie's title, and expect something cute and fluffy. As such,
the movie is unfairly saddled with expectations that it can't possibly
meet for no other reason than the simple fact that this is NOT a
conventional "chick flick" romantic comedy that will warm those little
heart cockles and send you floating out of the theater on a cotton
candy cloud.

After a chance meeting at a Cubs/White Sox baseball game, an "opening
credit relationship photo montage" creatively establishes that Jennifer
Aniston and Vince Vaughn are a couple. Just not for much longer. You
see, Jennifer is busy cooking for a family dinner. Vince's only
responsibility is to bring home 12 lemons so that she can create a
centerpiece for the dinner table. So what does he do? Brings home
three. Jen's understandably agitated.

Rather than dutifully go get the extra lemons, Vince tries to find
alternatives that will allow him to just sit on the couch and play
video games until everybody arrives. Perhaps use the lemons to flavor
the chicken since he tasted it and thought it was a little too spicy
anyway? Maybe place them in a glass and create a smaller centerpiece?
Yeah, it's fairly clear which three letters he puts in "class."

This leads to his lack of desire to help with the dishes later that
evening. Oh, he'll help with them in the morning, but Jen really wants
them done tonight. Fifteen minutes of work won't kill the guy, right?
When Jen expresses her disdain for the lack of appreciation he shows
her, he goes into a character-exposing rant and declares his desire to
just be left alone. Jen's had enough and decides to grant him his wish.
Commence with the break-up and the emotional tug-of-war that carries
the majority of the movie.

This is where some audiences might get lost. Why? Probably because it
feels so real, and sometimes reality doesn't always sell. People still
love fairy tales, you know? The arguments and hard-feelings that slowly
develop will likely hit home with anybody who has gone through a break
up, and I have no doubt that many, if not most, guys will fill a little
discomfort when they see some of themselves in Vince.

The thing I appreciated the most is despite his penchant for being a
jerk, Vince isn't adorned with a black hat and presented to us for our
jeering. It's just the way he is. He likes doing things his way. He
treats his friends and brothers in the same manner, but they still love
the guy and like hanging out with him; he just needs to learn to accept
doing things he might not want to for the people he loves. He's likable
and funny enough that we root for him to learn the lesson.

Likewise, Jennifer isn't placed on a pedestal with a golden halo on her
head. Though she's the more sympathetic of the two, she still resorts
to playing dirty and isn't allowed to come off completely innocent.
Perhaps the character flaws won't play well with the "give me
idealistic characters!" crowd, but I found them refreshingly realistic.

The movie's focal point is the often volatile chemistry between Vince
and Jennifer, which I thought was great, but the supporting characters
are also very effective, albeit underused. Vince has some show-stealing
scenes with Jason Bateman and particularly one with Jon Favreau (and
his ever-increasing girth) that are so good that you can't help but be
disappointed that there aren't more to savor.

Speaking of disappointment, go ahead and prepare yourself for the
potential of more as the closing credits begin to scroll. I admit that
I wanted a little more closure than I was given, and that seemed to be
the audience consensus. I suppose we should admire the screenwriters
for sticking by their guns and refusing to tie all the loose ends as
tightly as test audiences have demanded, but that doesn't mean we have
to be happy about it. I could have handled it better had it not felt so
abrupt and left me feeling a little incomplete.

But it certainly doesn't ruin the movie. You just need to check your
expectations and give the film a fair chance. Don't be a pawn of the
marketing team's efforts to mislead audiences into the door.

If you're a Vince fan I would also advise you not to expect the Johnny
Jump-Up zaniness of The Wedding Crashers or Dodgeball. The Break-Up is
a movie of a different breed. Abandoning the temptation to deliver a
consistently uproarious comedy romp, The Break-Up deliberately balances
itself with dramatic conflict, and gives us something a little
different than what Hollywood has forced us to become accustomed to.

It doesn't do it flawlessly, but at least it makes the attempt.
A Drama With Comedic Elements - The Promotional Trailers Attempt to Mislead Us Again8/10
The Break-Up is a highly watchable drama that contains elements of cleaver comedy. Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Anniston put in solid performances in a film that feels strikingly real at times.

The Break-up does not play out as a light-hearted comedy with a predictable wrap-up in the last five minutes. The Break-Up reveals the very human side of a failed relationship and its potential reconciliation. Yes, there are some very funny scenes. However, as the misalignment of expectations quickly unfolds the movie reveals its true self.

The Break-up does a more than credible job of displaying many of the aspects of how people deal with conflict and remorse. Many of the situations play all-in-one as funny, sad and realistic.

The bottom line is that the Break-Up is solid film built with Hollywood money and stars that chooses a route its benefactors rarely allow to be taken. This fact alone makes the movie worth viewing.
Decent romantic comedy/drama7/10
My husband and I went to see this film on its opening night and weren't surprised to see a full theatre.

The movie has its hilarious moments which are interspersed with plenty of uncomfortable, tense arguments as these 2 people who love one another try to one-up each other in the payback mode for the pain in their relationship.

My husband thought it dragged from the middle on a little, although I didn't.

We both left thinking the movie was really funny in some parts, pretty sad and even tragic in others. Overall, we thought the acting was solid & believable and though the ending wasn't expected, it was real and even hopeful.

We both said it was worth seeing, and if you're looking for a fairly real-life view of the life of a struggling relationship, you'll be glad you saw this film.

I left the theatre feeling a little empty, but glad that in real life, these two are together!! Enjoy!
Poignant Movie9/10
There have been several reviews maligning this movie. I think it's because they may have some pre-conceived notions that this movie will be full of non-stop laughs given that Vince and Jennifer are both comedic actors. I happen to think that this movie is excellent! True, the movie has many scenes where you will burst out laughing but there are also scenes which will touch you or even make you cry. What I like about this movie is that it's very realistic on how it portrays relationships especially when it's on the brink of dissolution. Because isn't that how life and relationships really are? It isn't always rosy, there has to be a mix of gray and blue, or it would be pretty boring.

Jen and Vince did an awesome job in this movie as well as all the supporting casts. My only comment is on the script which may be a bit lacking in character development. Nonetheless the movie is a must see.

I urge you to watch this movie with an open mind and you might take away a lesson or two after you finish viewing it.
Give this movie a chance!8/10
This is not your garden variety romantic comedy, thank god! I loved the authenticity of this movie. I don't know anyone who has been in a serious relationship that wouldn't relate to this movie. Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston are superb- they are both so credible and organic in these roles. Not sure about the bizarre-ish people the characters may surround themselves in the movie- family, friends and co-workers definitely are weird- but maybe they serve as a springboard to really bring the 2 main characters to life. (maybe comedic relief, too) In any case, so refreshing to watch a movie that is realistic and unpretentious. The opening scenes are scrapbook photos when the couple were together- they were wonderful- the exact types of photos most of us have in our own scrapbooks. It isn't an indie art-house film, but a big production that doesn't follow a relationship formulaic predictor for ratings, insead it portrays arguments and a break up in a realistic way. Lack of communication, lack of effort, too much pride, battles over what isn't so important but seems so at the time- all that. I was also pleased that it didn't wrap up in a big red bow at the end like most Hollywood movies.