I wasn't sure what to expect from this film. Hell, I wasn't even looking forward to see it despite the fact that Vince Vaughn's last few films were been pretty damned funny (especially The Wedding Crashers, one of my favourite comedies of last year, read my review here). With its lackluster trailer and numerous tabloid coverage, I thought this film has 'crap flick' written all over it, and yeah, I was especially wary cos' Jennifer Aniston's in it. I mean, as good as she was in Friends, I just felt that she wasn't good enough to make the transition to the big screen despite her various attempts to transform her own image. The only two films (I'm not counting the awesome Iron Giant, which she did voice work for) I've remotely enjoyed watching that had her in it were Bruce Almighty (and I consider that one of the weaker Jim Carrey films) and Along Came Polly (and that's because I'm secretly a sucker for romantic comedies, and the film's harmlessly forgettable, thus I can't remember whether it actually sucked or not, just that I had some laughs whilst watching it).
However, I was alone by myself at the streets of Perth, feeling rather pissed off with the pointless farcical comedy of 'Combien tu m'aimes?'(my review here) I saw just a day before, thus I thought I would just go for something more safer and conventional, a Hollywood rom-com, to soothe myself. After all, completing my short film Vertical Distance had given me a mild case of post-creativity depression, a happy little chick flick would probably cheer me up. (Despite it being advertised as some 'anti-romantic comedy', I was pretty damned sure it was just another romantic comedy trying to use the whole breaking up thing as a gimmick) Besides, I was also intrigued to see why this film turned out to be such a surprise box-office hit when everyone was expecting it to die like Gigli.
Well, turned out the film isn't exactly a laugh out loud comedy, or some fluffy little rom-com I've been exposing myself to endlessly. It IS a dramedy about the disintegration of a relationship. And no, this ain't like Mr and Mrs Smiths without the guns, it's more realistic and poignant, more angst and tears, no, not really as conventional as I've expected, but due to some shortcomings of the screenplay (character development here was just as conventional as a generic rom com, unfortunately), I couldn't really immerse myself completely into the story.
Granted, Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston, who played Gary and Brooke, have some good onscreen chemistry. And their characters are flawed human beings who would infuriate you just as often as you would sympathize for them, but ultimately, I just didn't care enough to really remain fully interested throughout the film, although like most viewers, I was hoping for an ending with more closure. Not that I wanted a fairy tale-like conventional ending, and the film's current ending was open-ended and uplifting enough for all kinds of interpretation, it just didn't have the ah, emotional impact of, er, Lost In Translation's ending.
All I can say is that, The Break-Up is interesting for its attempts to break away from conventions, and it does have some truly affecting moments towards the end, but it's really nothing special.
Here's a video of Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston talking about the film: