The Break-Up (2006)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Urban Comedy  |   Release Date - Jun 2, 2006 (USA)  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - Netherlands , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Perry Seibert

Peyton Reed's The Break-Up earns its title honestly. The screenplay, the actors, and the director have succeeded in capturing an ugly, pedestrian break-up between two very average emotionally stunted people. The scenes that deal dramatically, rather than humorously, with the situation actually are the strongest elements of the film. The huge verbal blow-out between the two at the beginning of the film, and the scene where they "discuss" with their realtor who should keep the spacious Chicago apartment they rent together, offer ample evidence that there was a very good film that could have been made from this material. Both Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn are willing to keep the least attractive elements of their characters front and center for most of the film. Sadly, these strengths are also the film's weakness. As good as Vaughn and Aniston are, it is hard to shake the feeling that these performers, both quite obviously in their mid-thirties at least, are too old for these roles. However, casting younger actors in the parts would have made the fact that they share an expensive Chicago apartment all the more unbelievable. Their particular problems are also so universal as to seem almost mundane. An audience member would be hard-pressed to like or root for either of them, as both of the characters lack a level of maturity that most people attain by that age. The characters may learn something about themselves, but where The Break-Up ultimately fails despite its good qualities is that the average viewer is not likely to identify with either character enough to learn anything about themselves.