Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time!
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Cover
Does Star Wars Have A Brain Trust?
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Vince Vaughn
Jennifer Aniston
Jon Favreau
Jason Bateman
Joey Lauren Adams
Cole Hauser
John Michael Higgins.
Directors
Peyton Reed.
Screenwriters
Jeremy Garelick
Jay Lavender.
Running Time
105 minutes

LATEST DVD REVIEWS
Nashville
5 Star Empire Rating
Hustler, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Hercules
3 Star Empire Rating
Boy Meets Girl
1 Star Empire Rating
Hart's War
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Nashville
5 Star Empire Rating
Hustler, The
5 Star Empire Rating
French Connection, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Blazing Saddles
5 Star Empire Rating
Black Narcissus
5 Star Empire Rating

The Break-Up
Uncomfortably perceptive but amusing relationship stuff from Aniston and Vaughn


submit to reddit


Plot
When a couple (Vaughn and Aniston) split up, they both realise that neither of them wants to leave their home, and so begin behaving badly to force the other out.


Review
The Break-Up

You can almost see the heads of the studio’s marketing department passing out with glee. Media superhero Jennifer Aniston stars in a movie called The Break-Up at the exact moment her real-life break-up from movie heartthrob Brad Pitt is pulling the maximum amount of column inches. Laugh? Actually, not so much…

Despite its comfortably familiar rom-com trailer, the film’s more bitter than a first wife without a pre-nup. Gary and Brooke engage relentlessly in no-holds-barred brawls that leave both their co-stars and audience squirming uncomfortably, and there’s a gripping realness about Aniston and Vaughn’s raw performances.
The Break-Up inevitably starts with The Get-Together. A chance meeting at a baseball game dissolves into a relationship photo-montage of Jen and Vince that, if they were real, tabloids would happily blow their yearly budget on. As if the dissolution of the human monolith that was Brad & Jen wasn’t enough, the alleged off-screen relationship between its co-stars has made this otherwise modest little movie as talked-about as a Harry Potter release.

Which is why much has been made of the on-screen chemistry between its co-stars, scandal pundits gravely looking for signs that prove once and for all that the pair are a bona fide couple. If you’re looking for simple on-screen chemistry, however, there’s plenty to be found: between Vaughn and his former Swingers/Made co-star Jon Favreau. Favreau plays best buddy and, opportunely, bar owner Johnny O, and it’s when they’re bantering together that you’re reminded that somewhere down the line, The Break-Up was conceived as a comedy.

When Gary’s oafish ways lead to the couple calling it quits, traditional romantic comedy takes a back-seat as the couple haul each other over the coals and dare to tell it like it is. It’s funny, but the comedy turns dark as their world implodes and their friends take sides. Here, director Peyton Reed — who brought us the Kirsten Dunst cheerleading comedy Bring It On and period Ewan McGregor rom-com Down With Love — clearly gave Vaughn free reign to improvise, and few can shoot their mouth off quite as effectively.

Aniston too is no slouch, and hearing the former butter-wouldn’t-melt sitcom star cuss and swear and hold her own against the barrage of abuse — as well as reveal that finely aerobicized rear-end every heat magazine reader knows so much about — may be worth the ticket entry alone.


Extras

Break-Up, The Break-Up, The
Released: 13 November 1999
The commentary’s rather sprightly, but the deleted scenes are not worth bothering with and the outtakes are oddly laboured. The alternative ending is a definitively different way to close the movie, but they stuck with the right one.


Verdict
The Break-Up doesn’t turn the rom-com on its head, but with its focus on the darker side of love manages to gently tip it on its side.


Reviewed by Tony Horkins

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Break-Up
Empire Star Rating

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Our official verdict on Marvel's latest addition to their cinematic universe

Frank Grillo's Ten Toughest Hollywood Tough Guys
The Purge: Anarchy star picks his favourite badasses

Role By Role With Joel McHale
The star of The Soup and Community on Spider-Man 2 and much more

'I Have The Club But I Didn't Get The Lion's Head'
Dwayne Johnson (and pals) talks Hercules props, action and ancient superheroes

Classic Feature: The Making Of The Silence Of The Lambs
Is this the most frightening movie ever made?

Classic Feature: Jack Nicholson - Gods Among Us
Charisma, consistency and cunning summed up in a single word: Jack.

Peter Fonda On Peter Fonda
The Hollywood legend relives his career highlights

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)