User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 156 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 31 out of 156
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  1. Feb 11, 2012
    5
    Although a half decent performance from Jennifer Aniston, the film is a complete waste of supposedly good actors who try to not be cliche by having an opposite of a romantic comedy and then it goes cliche, and lacks in laughs and good performances. I give this movie 47%.
  2. MarkB.
    Jun 20, 2006
    4
    To slightly amend the immortal words of Neil Sedaka, breaking up may be hard to do, but watching people break up isn't much of a picnic either...especially when both parties involved are as smug, self-centered and unlikable as they are in this mystifying box office hit, whose success can only be attributed to the by-now speedily waning goodwill generated by leads Vince Vaughn and To slightly amend the immortal words of Neil Sedaka, breaking up may be hard to do, but watching people break up isn't much of a picnic either...especially when both parties involved are as smug, self-centered and unlikable as they are in this mystifying box office hit, whose success can only be attributed to the by-now speedily waning goodwill generated by leads Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston. Superficially reminiscent of 1989's War of the Roses, and to a lesser degree the 1967 Debbie Reynolds-Dick Van Dyke pic Divorce, American Style, but without either film's satiric precision, focus or gutsiness, The Break Up deals with a seriously mismatched yuppie couple playing psychological games with one another because one or both them have to vacate their Ponderosa-sized loft. Despite the time limit imposed on them by their Realtor, one of the film's failings is its absolute lack of ticking-clock suspense or comic tension, which is just as well because had these two stayed together much longer, it almost surely would've resulted in a job for the homicide division. The "Telly Savalas" bit and the a capella song sequence featured in the movie's trailers come off as less egregious than they otherwise would be because the whole movie is a haphazardly stacked series of rambling, pointless sequences arranged with a surprising lack of clarity by director Peyton Reed...and given how many nifty, original touches he brought to the cheerleader comedy Bring It On and the stylish, underrated Doris Day/ Rock Hudson parody Down With Love, the disappointment is truly painful. (His one good invention, if it was his idea, in The Break Up is the use of various splices of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" as background musical stings.) And with the exceptions of Judy Davis and Jon Favreau, who at least has a pertinent third-act speech that cuts to the heart of Vaughn's character, I can't think of another recent movie that so thoroughly squanders such an interesting cast; I mean, how can the same movie come up with the brilliant notion of casting Ann-Margret as Aniston's mom and then give her virtually nothing to say or do? As far as the much-paparazzi'd leads are concerned, Vaughn's bloated, overgrown infant frat boy persona worked well for him in Wedding Crashers and Swingers but very little else, and it certainly doesn't here. (His best role and performance ever appeared in 1998's uncharacteristic, uncompromising and heartbreaking drug-smuggling drama Return to Paradise, but since that one didn't even crack the box-office Top 10, I doubt that we'll ever be seeing Vaughn challenge himself by doing the likes of it again.) And even though Aniston's character is right about 97% of the time (and yes, that includes the matter of the twelve lemons, too) she's so snooty and humorless that she all but negates the strength of her arguments. (She and that prig in the plaid shorts that she's seen with in the film's opening few minutes are true soulmates!) Aniston is a tremendously likable actress and most people's favorite Friend; I think just about all of America is rooting for her personal happiness and personal success, but this is by far her most mechanical and by-the-numbers performance yet...only in the lemon scene and her tear-stained moment of truth near the end does Aniston really catch fire. Perhaps instead of trying so hard to grasp the big brass ring with questionable projects like this and Rumor Has It, Aniston needs to keep doing more of the offbeat, independent material--like The Good Girl and the current Friends With Money--that really allows her to explore unusual avenues of her considerable talent and charm. THEN, after solidly establishing her indie cred, she can slowly build her commercial base. Hey, it worked for Reese Witherspoon, didn't it? Expand
  3. ChryssaR.
    Jun 2, 2006
    5
    Worst ending ever . . .like it was an afterthought, or a poor set up for a sequel.... Other than that, the characters were shallow and inconsistent and Jennifer was acting just like Rachel; in other words, the way she always acts. This movie had a couple of funny moments, but overall a big letdown.
  4. KenG.
    Jun 21, 2006
    4
    A movie that just seemed to miss the boat every step of the way. It can be defined by everything that's not believeable. [***SPOILERS***] For most of movie it's not really believeable that these 2 people would ever have gotten together in the first place, then all of a sudden, late in movie, it becomes not really believeable (and contrived) that they wouldn't be able to A movie that just seemed to miss the boat every step of the way. It can be defined by everything that's not believeable. [***SPOILERS***] For most of movie it's not really believeable that these 2 people would ever have gotten together in the first place, then all of a sudden, late in movie, it becomes not really believeable (and contrived) that they wouldn't be able to work out their problems. Vaughn's such a self-asborbed jerk for most of movie, that when he shows up as someone more sympathetic late in the film, it's not really believeable he's the same character we saw up to then. And it's not like ealier in film he was a flawed but likable guy (as he was, for instance, in "The wedding crashers") Here, you just don't like him, or care about him. And it's not really believeable that Anniston would have the bizzare idea, that the way to improved her relationship with Vaughn, is to treat him like garbage. While this is something that might have worked in a more screwballish kind of comedy, here it just seems weird. In fact, movie did start off like it intended to be more screwballish, but somewhere along the line it changed its mind, and took itself more seriously. It seems alot of people here don't think much of Jennifer Anniston. I think she is a good actress, and has genuine screen charisma, but like quite a few actresses in Hollywood today, she has lousy judgement when it comes to picking her films. Expand
  5. MikeS.
    Jun 3, 2006
    5
    Needed more bite and insight and less Pepsi product placements. It could have been a fine relationship dramedy if it wasn't done in by it inability to actually say or show anything actually meaningful. i.e.: Men can be selfish juvinile jerks, women refuse to say what they mean. Stop the presses! (At least they all love Pepsi...)
  6. GeorgeR.
    Jun 4, 2006
    4
    It
  7. MarkT.
    Aug 4, 2006
    5
    I had really low expectations when I went. It was my girlfriend who wanted to go and I was expecting a "chick flick". I was a little surprised and it exceeded my low expectations. I still dosed off once, but it wasn't bad.
  8. Redlight
    Jun 5, 2007
    6
    Good film but it doesn't get the balance between comedy and drama right. Personally, I think it worked better as a drama. Plus, why is Brooke so desperate to get back with Gary when he is such an asshole? Anyway, great acting from Vaugh and Aniston (especially Aniston) and still a good film despite its flaws.
  9. JimG.
    Jun 25, 2006
    5
    Went to this one with low expectations and was pleastly surprised by the strong humor. Though Vaughn and Anniston seem like a mismatch before, during, and after (the ghost of Pitt maybe?), the humor works and you will definitely be entertained. It's a shame that they tacked on a ridiculously amateur and incredibly forced ending. I would suggest you leave when you think it is over, Went to this one with low expectations and was pleastly surprised by the strong humor. Though Vaughn and Anniston seem like a mismatch before, during, and after (the ghost of Pitt maybe?), the humor works and you will definitely be entertained. It's a shame that they tacked on a ridiculously amateur and incredibly forced ending. I would suggest you leave when you think it is over, but then you'd miss the delightful Tone Rangers rendition of "Rainbow Connection." Overall? Not overwhelmed, not underwhelmed, just whelmed. Expand
  10. MarisaM.
    Jun 3, 2006
    6
    Better than I had expected from the trailers. Some clever humor. Although I agree with some of the critics that it was tiring to listen to people argue for 2 hours and I found myself looking at my watch frequently.
  11. C.B.
    Jun 12, 2006
    6
    If this movie was marketed as a dramedy and not a Vince Vaugn driven comedy, I may have liked it more. Can Anniston make a good movie?
  12. Aug 4, 2013
    4
    Vince Vaughn is fantastic as usual but he and Jon Favreau are the only positives about The Break-Up. It truly still puzzles me how Jennifer Aniston continues to get roles. She consistently plays the same detestable character in every single movie she's in and makes the films almost unwatchable. Sure, she's attractive but it's not like she's a supermodel or anything and her personality isVince Vaughn is fantastic as usual but he and Jon Favreau are the only positives about The Break-Up. It truly still puzzles me how Jennifer Aniston continues to get roles. She consistently plays the same detestable character in every single movie she's in and makes the films almost unwatchable. Sure, she's attractive but it's not like she's a supermodel or anything and her personality is atrocious. Fans of Vaughn will at least get some decent humor out of a few scenes but that's about it. Expand
Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 37
  2. Negative: 6 out of 37
  1. Audiences expecting a good time will instead be rewarded with wildly unsympathetic lead characters and uncomfortably long stretches without a laugh in sight.
  2. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    50
    Sporadic rays of sunshine emanate from the broad and gifted supporting cast, but the core story is almost relentlessly unpleasant, like sitting through a dinner party where the host couple does nothing but bicker.
  3. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    50
    A routine, stereotype-stuffed sitcom with pretensions.