If there ever has been a film that is more infamous for the delicious gossip surrounding it than the film itself, it's this film. Well, maybe it's not as infamous as say, Mr & Mrs Smith. But it's close.
The Break-Up begins with a beautiful introduction as Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) and Gary (Vince Vaughn) find each other, fall in love, and begin to build a life together. Then Gary starts to neglect Brooke, sending Brooke on a tirade that Gary is utterly clueless about. Are we always clueless, guys? Do they ever understand what we want, gals? You know the old war of words, breaking of hearts, and the eventual destruction of bliss.
Will Brooke and Gary ever make up? How far will they push their "break-up" and will the age-old question ever be answered?
For me, I felt like I was in one of those uncomfortable settings in a restaurant where the next table is unleashing their dirty laundry and I have no choice but to sit there and listen because I have already ordered.
It can be Dan and Denise, Scott and Jen, or Bill and Susan, but I really don't care if Dan clips his toenails in bed or Jen snores. And it is that attitude I felt while watching the The Break-Up.
There are some clever moments but for the most part if you haven't been in the situation these characters are in then you don't care. It just becomes a series of yelling, stomping, and throwing up of arms in disgust.
People have to learn to stop being so selfish, start acknowledging that there are two people in a relationship, and do what makes the other person happy even if it means going to the friggin' "ballet". Have some respect for your partner and yourself, then you are bound to have a better life.
People give up way too easily and it is that reason we get films like The Break-Up and why our society is obsessed with "Brad and Jen" breaking up and Brad sleeping with Angelina behind Jen's back. In the grand scale that is the universe, does it really matter???
Putting all this relationship etiquette and common sense aside, the performances from Aniston and Vaughn are quite good. Vaughn does his typical big lug performance but here it reaches a new threshold.
It has been a long time since I can say that I have liked Jennifer Aniston but I think in this film she was channeling some of her recent real-life relationship troubles and you know it made her more competent in the role.
Aniston has always had potential, even when I first noticed her in Ferris Bueller the TV series in 1990 and later in the Fox sketch comedy series, The Edge, in 1992.
I am now wondering if maybe Aniston has the ability to evolve as an actress to the status of a Julia Roberts or Reese Witherspoon or is she going to be stuck as a Sandra Bullock. Only time will tell.
Airing dirty laundry can be funny but breaking up never is. (2.5 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.