Would anyone really want to break up with Vince Vaughn? Honestly, how could you argue with the guy? To make matters worse, is his new movie "The Break Up" a snapshot of Vince and Jen's future reality?
Real-life friends-with-benefits Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston star in "The Break Up," a movie about two people breaking up and the comedy that ensues. Okay, so what ensues wouldn't normally be funny, but when you have a stubborn asshole in the form of Vaughn turning everything into a sharp-tongued argument, you know you're going to be laughing. Vaughn, one of the most successful comedy actors of recent years, is gaining more and more of a following, and it's no surprise why - he can turn even mediocre films (such as "Dodgeball") into laugh fests. More importantly, "The Break Up" is a much better movie than the professional critics gave it credit for; while a lot of the film does rely on Vaughn's craftiness, should it be blamed on such a thing?
Vaughn plays a neurotic tour bus guide who lives with his gorgeous art dealer girlfriend Aniston, who also is quite stubborn and selfish when it comes to doing just about anything. She wants him to do the dishes; he doesn't want to. She wants him to set the table; he doesn't want to. And when he doesn't want to do something, he won't do it... leading Aniston to make the hard choice of breaking up with him, even though she really doesn't want to - she just wants to change him. We all know how that is going to end up. The real problem, though, is that the two live together and neither believe that he or she should be the one to move out - so they both stay, and both purposely try to get the other one back by making each other's lives a living hell. And so the break up ensues...
It's only a matter of time before Vaughn tires of playing the same character over and over again, but at least he does it so well. He excelled in "Old School" and "Wedding Crashers" and is no different here, even if the movie doesn't rank at the same level as those ones. "The Break Up" is funny from beginning to end, but is not necessarily the kind of comedy one would watch over and over again. "Old School" I have watched countless times; somehow I'm guessing "The Break Up" isn't going to be a huge repeater for me. There is nothing inherently wrong about it, but the movie is about a break up from beginning to end, and doesn't quite have the entertainment factor as a story about grown men returning to college to start a fraternity.
Aniston, as she seems to be in most comedies, is more of a situational actress, and thus pales in comparison to Vaughn's performance. She is good in the movie, but her arguments are valid and serious and Vaughn's are just ludicrous and inanely funny; one is simply more entertaining than the other. She does look great, and does put up a strong fight against Vaughn, but in the end it is Vaughn's movie from beginning to end. Is there a single Aniston line you can remember from the entire movie? I didn't think so.
SPOILER ALERT. Another thing I liked about the movie is the fact that it does not end the way you'd expect. While not ending on a downer, "The Break up" wisely avoids what "Wedding Crashers" and countless romantic comedies haven't - the cheesy, cliché chase scene at the end of the movie to win the girl back. Despite Vaughn's hilarity, the movie is grounded in reality, and pretty much everything here plays out in a relatively [albeit embellished] believable way. Kudos to the creators for not ending the movie the way we all expected.
"The Break Up" is not a classic, but it is certainly a movie that deserves better treatment than it has received from critics. The movie takes a serious situation and makes it funny from beginning to end - it's so much funnier when it's happening to someone else, isn't it?
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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