Sunday, June 04, 2006

Torn Up About "The Break Up"

I saw "The Break Up" with my husband and our couple pals last night. Mixed feelings. On one hand it was a very good movie; Vince and Jen played successfully with the dark side of their personas. And yet, we left disturbed. My husband and I talked about the issues that push male and female buttons. This movie pushed all of them: how women play games rather than just say what they really want; how men get aggressive in a fight and fight to win even when they're wrong.

Like us, a lot of couples probably left that movie talking about people they know who are just like those characters. Fewer saw those characters in themselves.

However, I digress. This movie won't do well at the box office next week because the previews promised one thing, but the movie delivered a completely different experience. I think that's the biggest problem with movies today. First, there are way too many writers in the writing room and what was once a strong screenplay, got diluted. Second, some movies try to be everything and then forget what they were needed to be. In this case, there were moments of ridiculous comedy (ala Wedding Crashers) and then it took a screeching turn into searing drama.

From one writer to another, I recommend you watch it and take those lessons back to your desk. As a movie viewer, wait for the DVD.


Cynthia said...

Wow! I didn't know that "The Break Up" was like that at all. I've been hearing mixed reviews about it. One reviewe even said,"If you like funny sitcoms like Friends and movies like Wedding Crashers than you'll like The Break Up. But if you walked out during the Wedding Crashes and despised friends, then you should wait till it comes out in DVD." Since I love anything comedy, I was ready to pay my $10.75 to see this movie. Thanks for the review. And I agree with you that many movies are portrayed differently than they truly are. The plot often seems "diluted" and its previews portray it as a different kind of movie. The same thing happened with "The Village". That movie was awesome if you see it as a psychological thriller, not the horror movie it was portrayed to be.

Thanks for the thoughtful review :)

Colleen Gleason said...

I think you are right, Mary, about next weekend at the box office.

I was expecting a "War of the Roses" kind of thing, fortunately; but I also expected more humor. I do love Vince Vaughn.

I do agree a lot of things were happening, and that the trailer didn't match the actual movie.

I also felt that, while Gary (Vaughn's character) made some progress in his character arc--like when he finished those log reports--Brooke (Aniston's character) didn't. She was very wishy washy.

When she gets stood up at the concert, we think we know how she feels...but then when Gary makes dinner, it seems to me the way she reacts doesn't follow. It's inconsistent.

That didn't work for me at all.

Camy Tang said...

Hm, that's disappointing. I had been hoping for a nice, light, funny movie but I think I'll be more frustrated than amused. I tend to be very straightforward in my communication and watching someone on screen who is NOT is very annoying.


Unknown said...

Hi Giggles (love your screen name): The one thing I loved about "The Village" was Joaquin Phoenix. I'd pay to see him read a phone book!

Hi Colleen: I was floored by her reaction to the dinner! Didn't it seem like the concert had been the night before? Uh.

Hi Camy: Don't see the movie. You'll end up throwing something. ;-)


Louise said...

I hate it when they do that -- portray the movie as one thing, and you get there and it's a totally different movie.

Thanks for the review.


Bethany Hiitola said...

Ah, the joys of marketing departments that don't have a *clue* of the greatness in the movie. Gotta love it...

SuzLue said...

Hi Mary!
How are you? Doing well here. I did see "The Breakup" and was pretty depressed. This happened with "The Family Stone" too. The trailers pimped these movies as romantic comedy, when in reality, they were both very dark. If I'm in the mood for a dark movie, then I'm fine when I'm expecting it. If I'm in the mood for a comedy, and I don't get the laughs, then I just get pist and bitter! Argh.