The Break-Up

Posted on 01 Jun 2006 at 10:00pm
By Steve Warren Contributing Film Critic


There’s no winner in the battle of the sexes as Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn star in a possible foreshadowing of their joint future.

After two years life in their condo is less than perfect for Brooke (Aniston) and Gary (Vaughn). He takes her for granted, watching TV while she does the work. Women will despise him, and men will find him hard to defend. Everyone should cheer when Brooke tells him it’s over, but it’s just her strategy to make Gary change. She still loves the guy, in spite of his San Andreas-sized faults.

Neither wants to give up the condo so a war of nerves ensues as they continue to cohabit, sleeping apart. Now we’re in standard sitcom territory, including efforts to make each other jealous. “The Break-Up” wants to be both romantic and anti-romantic.

The movie industry makes strange bedfellows, and being heterosexually married allows director Peyton Reed to make very gay films: first “Bring It On,” then “Down with Love” and now this.

Besides being a bitchy look at straight romance “The Break-Up” includes one or two gay characters, though surprisingly they’re neither witty nor charming.
Justin Long (“Jeepers Creepers”) plays Christopher, the silly, swishy receptionist at Marilyn Dean Gallery; and John Michael Higgins is Brooke’s brother Richard, who belongs to a male a cappella singing group.

Gary insists Richard’s gay. Brooke insists he isn’t. The question seemed resolved in the trailer but isn’t in the movie, which also asks (but doesn’t answer), “What do you get when you cross a gay Eskimo and a black guy?”
Is “The Break-Up” a date movie? Not for men or women both of whom are made to appear asinine. But members of other genders may enjoy laughing at them.

Inquiring minds will want to know how Vaughn and Aniston, even if she was on the rebound, could have fallen in love while making such a scathing portrayal of a relationship.

Steve Warren

Grade: C

Opens today in wide release.

Q CINEMA SCREENS “‘BLUE SALOON’


Feeling blue that you missed a locally produced feature that screened at the Q Cinema Film Festival? Well, a second chance awaits you.

“Blue Saloon,” a comedy directed by Dave Stovall (“Hate Crime”), was filmed in Fort Worth. It’s about Salvatore, a native Italian living in Sicily, who finds out that his brother, a Texas nightclub owner, has died. And he’s left his nightclub to Salvatore. After burying his brother, Sal boot-scoots stateside to his new inheritance only to discover that in this honky-tonk, some of the men are wearing cowgirl outfits.

While trying to adjust to the colorful new environment, Sal also confronts a radio evangelist who attempts to coerce the townspeople to close the saloon because it’s a place of “moral decadence and depravity.”

June 3 on the patio at Hot Shots, 651 Jennings Ave., Fort Worth. Free. Film starts at sundown. www.qcinema.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, May 26, 2006.

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