The Break-Up (2006)

PEYTON REED

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  USA, 2006.  Universal Pictures, Mosaic Media Group, Wild West Picture Show Productions.  Story by , , , Screenplay by Jeremy Garelick, Jay Lavender.  Cinematography by . Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

Surprisingly effective comedy that introduces us to the instant romance between an art gallery employee () and a Chicago tour bus guide (), then slowly gives us a detailed, sometimes contrived, other times emotionally poignant, description of their long journey to splitsville. Aniston is tired of being taken for granted, while Vaughn has no interest in acting like a grownup, inspiring her to pull some ridiculous stunts to get him to notice her while he retaliates in even fuller force. Many of the subplots and kooky characters are straight out of Romantic Comedy Screenwriting Class 101, but much of the dialogue is so well written that pretty much everyone will relate to many of the frustrations that the two stars experience. Judy Davis is delightful in a highly familiar supporting role (the fabulous boss), while  as Aniston’s brother, and his opening scene stolen straight out of My Best Friend’s Wedding, stick out like a sore thumb. What makes it work, though, is Aniston’s uncanny ability to make everything feel real, and the audience will not be able to tear their sympathy away from her.

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