Combustible Celluloid
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With: Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, Joey Lauren Adams, Cole Hauser, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman, Judy Davis, Justin Long, Ivan Sergei, John Michael Higgins, Ann-Margret, Vernon Vaughn, Vincent D'Onofrio, Peter Billingsley
Written by: Jeremy Garelick, Jay Lavender, from a story by Jeremy Garelick, Jay Lavender, Vince Vaughn
Directed by: Peyton Reed
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, some nudity and language
Running Time: 106
Date: 06/01/2006

The Break-Up (2006)

3 Stars (out of 4)

White Men Can't Dump

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

What looks like a raucous frat-boy comedy is really a surprisingly canny depiction of a stagnant relationship. Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) won't say what she wants, while Gary (Vince Vaughn) does exactly as he pleases, and together they own a valuable Chicago condo. The clever director Peyton Reed (Down with Love) sustains a string of remarkable conversations, arguments and desperate ploys, while upsetting the expected rom-com formula. The humor instead seeps from the many crafty character roles; Judy Davis, Vincent D'Onofrio and Jon Favreau really shine, but Aniston and Vaughn break into entirely new territory. The movie could have used more build up and a stronger female presence, but it's a brave, subversive look at the ugly, needy side of Hollywood romance. Vaughn co-wrote the story and produced.

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