Untimely Reviews – The Break Up

This untimely review might actually be timely. Many months after the movie "The Break Up" has left theaters, the two stars, chubby Vince Vaughn and endearing Jennifer Aniston, themselves broke up their real life relationship. See, in the movie, the two thespians play a couple that breaks up at the beginning of the movie and then spar until the unsatisfying end.

I worry though, that the real life break up of Vaughiston could bias this review. Providing unbiased reviews is about the only redeeming thing that I hope to accomplish with this blog. Once the hype of a movie has quieted to a hushed whisper and no one is saying, "you have to see this movie", I believe that a movie can then be measured on its merits. Yet, the real life break up is not the only potential bias in this review.  There is also my misconception that "The Break Up" was a romantic comedy the constant interruption by our little baby.

I recollect that this movie was advertised as a romantic comedy. Romantic comedies are mostly enjoyable, especially for folks in love as my wife and I contentedly are. There is something about a former couple cursing at each other and alienating each other's friends that lacks both romance and comedy. Schadenfreude-ists despair. "The Break Up" is no "War of the Roses", Vaughniston are sympathetic.

Aside of being a downer, the big problem with the break up is the mundane reason for the break up.  At first the problem seems to be the divide between the clean and aesthetically savvy Aniston and her oafish video game playing boyfriend. One can imagine that during the film Aniston "chills out" while Vaughn grows up. As the move proceeds, however, Aniston is quite pleasant as Vince sinks lower and lower into oafishness and egotism. Eventually, they really break up after he truly neglects her. The sentiment in this movie doesn't quite warm the heart.

Meanwhile, my wife and I had our own problems. Somehow sensing that his parents happy without him, our little man refused to sleep during the entire movie.  In over and hour of watching the movie, we saw about 12 minutes of actual footage. Every fifteen minutes we heard cries from the baby monitor and the thump-thump of our little guy crawling around upstairs. All in all, it took us four hours to watch the entire movie.

Perhaps in all the pausing and unpausing we missed the subtle humor and even handed treatment of the characters. Of course, maybe the movie is not supposed to be romantic, funny, or even handed. There are so many dead on perfect scenes that mirror real break ups. The lines echo the common arguments of every couple: women caring about household upkeep and men caring about about sports and video games. This definitely is not first date movie or even a twentieth date; it just hits way to close to home. My wife and I felt compelled to reaffirm our devotion to each other.

There is one very bright spot in the movie for my wife and I. Well, mostly it was bright for my wife but I enjoyed her enthusiasm. The Old 97s appear in the break up. My wife is a devoted Old 97s fan. in fact, it was because of their appearance that we saw this movie over something more uplifting, like "The Shawshank Redemption." Although the Old 97s appear for a few minutes, with some rewinding they can appear for a half hour. I think my wife would have been happier if Vincifer had instead made a cameo in an Old 97s movie.

The moral of the story is, Jeniffer Aniston really needs to find someone worth staying with. 

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