24 January 2007 | JoeJames76
Not quite how the trailers sold it
It is extremely frustrating when a studio deceives you by selling a film as something it is not. The Break-Up is NOT a laugh a minute comedy of he said/she said. It is not the playful battle of the sexes so guiltily enjoyed in Peyton Reed's previous film Down With Love. It is, however, an enjoyable (that's perhaps not the right word) take on the part of a relationship we rarely see in an otherwise romantic comedy.
Centering a film on the ugly side of dating is a risky task, which is why it is understandable that the studio would try to sell the "hilarity" of incompatibility. Yet by doing so, the film's trailer really sells short the strength that this film has as a dramatic rendering of an adult relationship gone sour.
Vaughn and Aniston give strong, believable performances as a couple in crisis. Their attraction and chemistry is right, in that you can see these two hooking up, but not exactly hitching up. Neither one deserves the other, as both display their worst faults as their relationship devolves. A strong supporting cast plays their pals caught in the crossfire, with some funny results and some ridiculous mugging at times. Reed does a fine job of hitting the right notes, though the jump between comedy and drama can be a little jarring.
The film tries to realistically deal with a couple's break-up, yet finds truth in the dialogue more often than it does in the actions of its characters. Some honest reactions spill forth from the mouths of the hurt, confused couple dealing with their emotions, but their over-the-top responses by way of making grand purchases and throwing away their hard earned lives and bodies at a whim seem less real and more made in Hollywood.
Still, in the end, without the misleading theatrical trailer and real life romance (and prior break-ups) of the two leads, the film is convincing and entertaining. Just expect a lot more screaming than laughing.