Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Break-Up

The Break-Up, written by Jeremy Garelick and starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston, isn't a typical relationship movie. It doesn't have a quick, exciting pace nor an I-didn't-see-that-coming ending. The central characters aren't perfect; in fact, sometimes they are selfish and controlling. And mean. Most times to each other, but sometimes to family and friends. So, The Break-Up ain't That Girl, or Ozzie and Harriet or Father Knows Best. Nope, it's better than those vanilla-flavored lies force-fed the American public for one simple reason:

It's real.

Vaughn and Aniston meet and fall fast in love, and move in with each other. After several years, it's apparent they've grown apart. She's matured personally, and become quite successful professionally. Vaughn, however, is pretty much the ESPN highlight-watchin'-- beer right after work grabbin'-- I'll get to that right after the game promisin'-- guy she met years ago. Aniston thinks a break-up will snap some sense into him, so she tries that as a tactic to save the relationship.

It doesn't work. At least regarding the relationship. But, while the events that unfold over the movie may not save the relationship, they help shape the characters into better people.

To me, that's the success of The Break-Up. It points out that many times the poor decisions we make in relationships are simply the result of not knowing how to get out of a personal or professional rut. Bad relationships can sometimes evolve because we take our significant other for granted. And once in a while relationships go sour because we haven't grown emotionally with our partner.

And like the central characters in this movie, when we finally get around to figuring out those problems, it's often too late to fix them.

So, The Break-Up isn't a great movie with a typical look and feel. But I liked it because it forced me to think, and reflect upon some important aspects of my own life. And, it made me hug Mrs. Film Geek a little tighter after the credits finished rolling.


Kelly said...

I'm sure I'll love the movie, probably because you didn't like it so much...we tend to disagree. : )

Thanks for the review though!

jedi jawa said...

I don't know Kelly. I've been baffled by how all of the commercials for this movie (and especially for the video release) have been calling it "laugh out loud funny" or "the best romantic comedy in years". Let me say that this is neither romantic, nor a comedy, and it's only "laugh out loud funny" if you're the sort of person who sees a car accident and starts slapping your knee with uncontrolable fits of laughter.

This movie left me numb because of how real it was. It was like I was watching half a dozen or so of the worst relationship fights that I've had with another half dozen tossed in for good measure. I can relate to Film Geek wanting to hug his wife after it was over. It really just killed our whole day.

Of course, in typical fashion, The Film Geek has found another positive way of looking at this film as a lesson about how sometimes getting out of a bad relationship can be good. Still, it wasn't an enjoyable time watching this movie. Beware.

The Film Geek said...

Kelly: I think I said I DID like it, for some specific reasons. But Jedi is right, it was advertized wrong in an effort to capitalize on Vaughn's OldSchool and other farce movie success. It is not a comedy, nor is it romantic.

Jedi: I'm far from a pollyanna. If a movie makes me think, it's done something positive.

jedi jawa said...

You know, the acting is very well done in the movie. It just isn't funny. Actually, the humor comes in at just the right moment to evoke a nervous laughter but the acting is so good and the writing is so well done in the fights that it's like you're really there in the middle of a fight that you've most likely had at some point in your life. You're right though Film Geek, it does make you think.

I'm still not sure why they have advertised it like they did because I've not spoken with anybody who thought that this movie was as funny as the ads would have us believe. The only person who I can imagine enjoying watching this voyeuristic glimpse of the misery of others is 2-hot-4-you who may just decide that this was the funniest movie she's ever seen - or not. ;-)

Ian C. said...

Jedi Jawa said it: This was a horribly mis-marketed movie, and I'll bet a lot of people were surprised (and not pleasantly so) with what they were watching.

But I also enjoyed it for the reasons you guys have cited. It is uncomfortable, because you're watching two people fight. A lot. And it's kind of difficult to imagine these two people ever getting together in the first place.

Yet it was also a movie I was glad everyone involved was able to make. Because it would've been easy to sand off all the edges and sweeten up.