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The Break-up - DVD Review

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</script></div>{/googleAds}Actor/writer/producer Vince Vaughn has always wanted to make the ultimate "anti-romantic comedy." He complains about how most films of the genre fall into the typical traps of silly clichés and predictable Hollywood endings. The idea of creating something a little different would occupy his thoughts for the next several years until he met up with writers Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavender who had been working on their own treatment with Vaughn in the starring role. The trio would spend three long months completing the script to The Break-up, the result of which is an often uneven but always-funny insider's view into the anatomy of a break-up.

The film opens in Wrigley field where Gary (Vince Vaughn) and his friend Johnny O (Jon Favreau) are taking in a Cubbies game. After making what seems like a hopeless and somewhat desperate pass at Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) seated further down the row, we learn through a series of opening credit vignettes of Gary and Brooke's happy and fun-filled two-year courtship. Then, suddenly comes the lemon incident. We've all had one of these. It's one of those arguments that, after it's over, you both realize how silly you were and how insignificant your point really was. The only difference here is that, rather than just letting it go, Brooke and Gary use the incident as a foothold in which to gain more leverage for their next confrontation. In other words, we've just been witness to the straw that broke their relationship's back.

Most of the remainder of the story is of Gary and Brooke carrying on their lives separated, but still living in the same condo. Brooke cranks up Alaniss Morisette's You Ought to Know, while Gary puts the new pool table smack-dab in the middle of the living room. Each gaining a better advantage in the "I-can-do-that-if-I-want-to" battle.

Vaughn's Gary is the ultimate American guy's guy. He has a beautiful girlfriend, he's funny, loved by all, and likes to lie on the couch playing video games while Brooke prepares the meals and cleans the condo. Pretty much still the loveable loser we've come to know from Swingers and The Wedding Crashers. But in The Break-up, men and women are forced to pick sides, and naturally sides are chosen based on gender. His character is a bit more abrasive here lending a chance of Vaughn being a little less liked by female audiences.

Aniston's Brooke is created as the consummate embodiment of the struggles of every American wife or girlfriend. She doesn't so much want her mate to do the dishes, as she wants him to "want" to do the dishes. This conflict is sure to strike a familiarity with the female audience who needs a rock to stand up to the ultra-manliness of Gary's camp. Aniston is clearly in her element in this role. Vaughn's imposing stature, his rapid-fire wisecracks and aggressive relationship tactics need a strong opposition. And Aniston delivers. Way over her head in last year's drama-heavy Derailed, here she's back in her wheelhouse doing comedy. And her chemistry with Vaughn is just wonderful. They should be a couple in real life!

The Break-up is not as well written as 2004's best rom-com, Spanglish and it's not as funny as The Wedding Crashers. But neither is it as bad as most anemic efforts of the genre. It dares to take a slightly different angle on the subject of relationships, ultimately taking it down an alley that's a little darker and considerably more entertaining than most. A surprisingly open-ended conclusion gives the experience a touch of smarts that makes the film an infectious little examination of the differences of men and women.


DVD Details:

Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1

Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; commentaries; featurettes; scene access.

* Commentary - 2 Feature-length audio commentaries.
o With director Peyton Reed.
o With Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston.
* Deleted Scenes - 15 minutes of extended scenes, deleted scenes, and outtakes.
* Featurettes -
o Making Of Featurette
o Three Brothers: A Tour of Chicago
o Favreau / Vaughn Improv Sessions
o The Tone Rangers

Number of discs: - 1- Keepcase Packaging


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