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THE BREAK-UP

A just-can’t-get-along couple decides to split. But since neither of them can bear to give up their fabulous condo, they continue to cohabit and to fight down and very dirty.


CAST
: Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, Vincent D’Onofrio, Judy Davis, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman, John Michael Higgins, Cole Hauser, John Michael Higgins, Joey Lauren Adams, Ann-Margret


DIRECTOR: Peyton Reed


SCREENWRITERS: Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavender

 

“The script strains hard after a few easy jokes, and the whole movie feels dull and trivial...In defying some of the rigid conventions of its genre, it shows some admirable pluck and wit, but these would be more appreciated if the principal characters were worth caring about or if we could believe for a moment that they cared for each other...He's a slob; she's a perfectionist. He likes baseball; she prefers ballet. And so on...what comic delight there is comes from the supporting cast: Jon Favreau as Gary's obligatory doofus buddy; Mr. D'Onofrio as his weirdly fastidious brother; Judy Davis as Brooke's vamping boss; and Jason Bateman as their friend and real estate agent in one note-perfect scene. Their efforts, unfortunately, are not enough to make ‘The Break-Up’ memorable, or anything more than mediocre.” --A. O. SCOTT, The New York Times


“Has there ever been a couple the audience has rooted so hard to see broken the hell up already?...‘The Break-Up’ is a routine, stereotype-stuffed sitcom with pretensions...the movie plays like ‘Scenes From a Marriage’ for 14-year-olds...Vaughn proves again he’s a two-key virtuoso, veering between manic jabbering and slack helplessness. I fear that even when he’s eligible for Social Security he’ll be playing the overgrown child-man forced to grow up and become more emotionally available.” --DAVID EDELSTEIN, New York Magazine


“The filmmakers seem to be taking the position that Gary and Brooke should be together because deep down they love each other. Meanwhile we can't wait for them to do the right thing and break up...There have been terrific films about breakups--try renting Ingmar Bergman's ‘Scenes From a Marriage.’ But I can't recall any other couples movie that so blithely avoids the most basic rudiments of what makes men and women split up. ‘The Break-Up’ is about relationships, but it looks like it was made by people who have never been in one.” --PETER RAINER, The Christian Science Monitor


“Taking a cue from Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler, Vaughn flaunts a jelly belly and a slob wardrobe; he doesn't act in this film so much as he hangs out in it...‘The Break-Up’ makes a lame attempt to balance our sympathies, but really, it's the story of a nice girl making the eminently sensible decision to dump a psychotically selfish lout...Watching ‘The Break-Up,’ it barely even occurred to me to think of Aniston's breakup with Brad Pitt or her current union with Vaughn. Those relationships are real. This one, in every sense, is fake.” --OWEN GLEIBERMAN, Entertainment Weekly


“Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston don't have many opportunities to demonstrate their romantic chemistry in Peyton Reed's funny, heart-wrenching "The Break-Up," but they still give what may be the best performances of their careers...‘The Break-Up’ has a sharp edge and a granite center. The punishment Gary and Brooke heap on each other is often laugh-out-loud funny, but the hurt that comes with it feels very real, and while the film has a satisfying ending, its emotional integrity is unusual in the genre...Jon Favreau is very funny as Gary's best friend, Judy Davis is a riot as Brooke's egocentric gallery boss, and John Michael Higgins nearly steals the show as Brooke's a cappella-singing brother.” --JACK MATHEWS, The New York Daily News

“Making a romantic comedy into a somber exercise is not the same as making it serious, and making it unpleasant is not the same as making it significant. ‘The Break-Up’ provides a series of nonsensical confrontations, played neither for laughs, nor for frowns, nor for verisimilitude...it involves a good woman coming to realize that she's with a boring, inconsiderate, stupid lout. And the audience is supposed to root for them to get back together. Huh?” --MICK LaSALLE, San Francisco Chronicle

“Vince Vaughn is the best friend a movie comedy could have. He's funny, hilariously so, while keeping his characters grounded in messy reality. Last summer, he hit a peak with ‘The Wedding Crashers,’ playing a horn dog reformed by the right woman. ‘The Break-Up,’ co-starring Jennifer Aniston as the babe who splits when she can't tame him, isn't in that playful league. It's about as playful as a python...You won't leave ‘The Break-Up’ with a skip in your step--it's more like a knot in your gut.” --PETER TRAVERS, Rolling Stone

“How this couple ever fell for each other is a mystery. I mean, it’s literally a mystery because ‘The Break-Up’ never bothers to show us...I know the movie’s called ‘The Break-Up,’ but isn’t dedicating only five minutes of an hour-and-45-minute film about the disintegration of a romance to the actual romance itself just a little odd?...whatever magic got these stars together offscreen is sorely missing onscreen, unless it was Aniston’s peach of an ass, which does make a nice showing for itself.” --JOE DONNELLY, LA Weekly

“‘The Break-Up’ is half of a great movie: a biting, hard-hearted look at what happens when former lovers take off the gloves and begin using each other as emotional punching bags...But ‘The Break-Up’ doesn't offer insight into how the mutual attraction between Vince Vaughn's Gary, a narcissistic, good-time-loving schlub, and Jennifer Aniston's Brooke, a cultured, meticulous, Type-A poster girl, arose in the first place. True, it's easier to accept a breakup when it's clear that the two parties are mismatched, but a better, braver film would reveal what caused the initial attraction.” --CHRIS KALTENBACH, Baltimore Sun

“‘The Break-Up’ is more enjoyable in the moment than it is on reflection. I'd be happy to see it listed in an in-flight magazine, but ‘Annie Hall’ it's not. It's too bad, because Vaughn, who also came up with the idea, is reliably fleet and funny, and the movie comes across as well-intentioned and more or less honest — which is better than not honest at all...Director Peyton Reed doesn't quite bring the sharpness, litheness and attention to detail he brought to ‘Bring It On’ and ‘Down With Love’ to ‘The Break-Up,’ which is nonetheless alternately funny and painful. But you get the sense that his heart's not in it.” --CARINA CHOCANO, The Los Angeles Times

“At the 30-minute mark, I thought the movie had a chance, but it grew dreary and sad...There's a stretch when Gary's sleeping on the sofa surrounded by dirty underwear and she's trying to make him jealous by being picked up at home by a series of handsome studs. Would any woman really do this?...What the movie lacks is warmth, optimism and insight into human nature...For the movie to work, we would have to like the couple and want them to succeed... we're sorry, but we don't want them back together, we want them to end their misery.” --ROGER EBERT, Chicago Sun-Times