The Break-Up (12A)
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Time Out says
Tue Jul 18 2006Much like ‘The War Of The Roses’, this wilfully bucks romantic comedy formula by speeding through a couple’s courtship and cohabitation and diving straight into the separation of the title: a family dinner party is the catalyst, widening the gap between the couple and emphasising their differences. As Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) spends hours preparing for a lavish dinner, Gary (Vince Vaughn) returns home without the shopping and puts his feet up in front of the sports channel. It may sound like lame, stereotype-driven humour, but sharp dialogue and detailed observations make it a good deal funnier than you might expect. As in most of Vaughn’s other comedies (‘Wedding Crashers’, ‘Old School’), unexpected biting remarks bring bursts of laughter. ‘She’s been through a lot,’ protests Brooke when Gary criticises her troubled sister. ‘Of dick!’ he proclaims.
Clearly, this is no PC outing: Brooke’s camp brother is ridiculed (albeit mostly for his refusal to come out) and Vaughn’s regular sidekick Jon Favreau makes a virtue of his sexist remarks. But Favreau’s bold character Johnny is one of the funniest in the film: Brooke’s sex-mad art gallery boss and her camp assistant are less successful comic figures. This is at its most amusing when the warring couple’s attempts to aggravate each other backfire, such as when Brooke’s token date – designed to make Gary jealous – ends up bonding with Gary over a computer game. ‘The Break-Up’ is at its least successful when addressing the issue of romance. While implying that the pair love each other deep down, the film ís uncertain about their ultimate compatibility, which – however realistic – makes it less emotionally affecting than many of its contemporaries. Still, at least it’s funnier.
Author: Anna Smith
Fri Jul 21 2006