Haunted Flower’s DVD Review of The Break-Up

The Break-Up DVD Review
1 Disc Widescreen Edition

First off, a summary. Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston’s characters have been dating for two years and we even get to watch how they first met. After that meeting, a photo slideshow begins and I have to say, that photographer is amazing. He caught all these adorable moments that you never get to have during your relationship because most of the time it’s just the two of you. Honestly, who’s taking these beautiful pictures?? Anyway, a typical day starts with a special dinner planned and they have a very typical couple fight. It heightens to a degree that provokes Aniston to call it quits. Thus the break-up begins.

Now watching this movie as a communication major was fascinating because it directly correlates to my knowledge of gender communication to a tee and I hope the professor is using this movie as a teaching tool. Now Jennifer Aniston is being the typical woman who does everything in the relationship in this case. She works all day, then cooks, cleans, and does all the things he wants to do when they go out. When she asks him to do a few simple things to help her out, just as a way of showing gratitude or appreciation, he turns her down. Unfortunately instead of coming right out and saying these things, she pulls out things like, “Why didn’t you bring me twelve lemons like I asked?” or “We never go to the ballet.” These are to hint at: You don’t listen to me or seem to care about me the way I do you. She never spells it out. Women like to imply what they’re saying instead of just saying it.

Vince Vaughn is the typical guy who has a great girl who does everything and he doesn’t have to. He loves her but he works all day and believes he’s entitled to some down time when he gets home. Which isn’t a problem in itself. Then he gets “nagged” by Aniston to do a couple things and he sees it as her nagging him ALL the time and doesn’t respect his need to veg out the way he likes to. What he’s missing is that she worked all day too and is asking for some help. He needs plain english and takes everything she says literally. When she finally breaks up with him, he believes it’s real and therefore if the relationship is over, there is nothing he can do, so he will defensively protect his domain and act like he doesn’t care about her. The break-up was a ploy used by Aniston only to raise the stakes. She expected him to come after her, she waited by the door! If he cares, he’ll try to save the relationship. He’ll have a revelation, she believes. He thinks there is nothing to save and so he leaves.

What follows is an often funny, sometimes very sad downward spiral into competition and continued miscommunication. They both continue to raise the stakes and the more things Aniston tries to take away from him, the further he gets pushed away. She keeps hoping she’ll take away one thing he cherished and he’ll suddenly say, “Wow I miss my girlfriend, look at how my life sucks without her. I see it all now. I’ll go apologize.”

I have to say one of the best comedic devices I’ve seen in a long time is the acapella group, “The Tone Rangers”. I laughed so hard I cried a little when I was in the theatre. Dan took me to see this movie on my birthday! :-) Seriously, how can you have a better line than, “You can’t take a pitch pipe out of a man’s hand when he’s in the middle of a tasty groove!” The other funniest part of the movie is Vaughn playing an online video game with a headset connected to a twelve-year old boy and he keeps asking him if his mom is in the room crying at the devastation that is the score. Jason Bateman is very funny as their realtor friend who helps discuss the division of condo assets.

This is one of the best movies of that year and I can’t believe Wedding Crashers got more hype. This is a great movie, particularly if you’re in a relationship. Just don’t let those arguments motivate more of your own. The movie SHOWS you how not to fall into that trap. Women need to be more direct and just say what they mean. Men need to listen and notice what women go through for them. End of story. I love this movie.

DVD Extras:

There is feature commentary with the director and also with both lead actors Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. It is so rare to get a combination of actors on a commentary but so rewarding when you hear the in’s and out’s of how scenes came about and what was ad-libbed and where ideas came from. The outtakes for the movie are hysterical, but there is also a segment of improv between Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn that is so funny to see how quick they are and you’ll wish all the good jokes could have been worked in to the movie. Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn improving out a scene to perfection and it is not only funny, but a good lesson on how movies come together for budding actors. There is a three brothers: tour of chicago and also deleted scenes and an alternate ending. The alternate ending is funny on its own but if it had been used in the movie, it would have left it on a weird, unfocused point. I highly recommend this DVD, stay away from Couples Retreat and get this instead.

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