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Movie Review

The Break-Up

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for sexual content, some nudity and language

Reviewed by: Evan D. Baltz

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Romance Comedy
1 hr. 45 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
June 2, 2006 (wide)
Copyright, Universal Pictures Distribution Copyright, Universal Pictures Distribution
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures Distribution
Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.
Featuring: Jennifer Aniston
Vince Vaughn
Joey Lauren Adams
Judy Davis
Vincent D'Onofrio
Jon Favreau
Cole Hauser
John Michael Higgins
Justin Long
Director: Peyton Reed
Producer: Stuart Besser, Peter Billingsley, Vince Vaughn
Distributor: Universal Pictures Distribution

“…pick a side.”

Have you ever been over to someone’s house and the couple started arguing? How did it make you feel? My guess is, if you are like me, you felt pretty uncomfortable. It might have been funny for the first couple of seconds because you thought they might be teasing, but then it became really awkward and you just wanted to get out of there. For me, that is pretty much the way I felt during “The Break-Up”.

I think the movie was supposed to be a comedy, maybe even a romantic comedy. It was neither. I chuckled mildly a few times but never laughed out loud. Not many people in the theatre did either. Instead it felt like someone had invited about 300 strangers over to watch them bicker for a couple of hours—not really entertaining, and certainly not funny.

Vince Vaughn, who is usually dependably funny in comedies, was just kind of generally annoying and mildly tolerable. Jennifer Aniston, while also potentially funny, and often not too hard on the eyes, was often irritating. It was difficult to really feel too much for either of their characters.

Vaughn plays Gary Groboski, a Chicago area tour bus tour guide. Aniston is Brooke Meyers, an art gallery manager. The unlikely couple move in together but find out they really don’t have a great deal in common. Brooke feels that Gary just doesn’t care enough about what she wants in life and is more concerned about getting a pool table for the living room. She decides she has had enough and wants to break-up with Gary. However, neither will move out of their condo. Instead they fight with each other and try to get even with each by doing things they know the other person will dislike. Their friends and family members only exist to provide terrible advice for both.

The film is replete with 70 some foul words, including the Lord’s name taken in vain 20 plus times. There is also some out of focus nudity and other sexual and course talk.

It felt like most of the scenes ran on much longer than they should have. It seemed the writers and actors didn’t really know how to salvage the scene so just kept going in hopes that it would make everything more funny because of how absurd things become. I checked my watch at about the one hour mark hoping that it would be close to the end. No such luck.

I really don’t know what kind of a movie these folks wanted to make, and that becomes very apparent early on with the uneven notes the plot hits.

Not a good date movie. It would be kind of like seeing a plane crash movie the night before your next flight. Instead of seeing “The Break-Up”, try staying together with your money and spend the evening at home with someone you love, and say nice things to each other and enjoy each other’s company.

Violence: None / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Mild

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive—The movie is not what you would really expect—it is what the title says, a break up. I am a big Vince fan (and Jennifer), they both did a great job. The main thing I hated about the movie is the dozen times they took God’s name in vain—that actually kills it for me. Just like most movies out now, they can’t get away from using it at least once.
My Ratings: Average / 4
Anthony, age 31
Positive—This movie was obviously made from a very secular world view. The lead couple is not Christian and do not live a Christian lifestyle. I don’t think anyone going to see this movie would expect otherwise. I was expecting adult, over the top slapstick humor, but was surprised at the depth and honesty of the emotional journey these characters undertook. While there were definitely some very uncomfortable scenes in which the characters were downright mean to each other, they were balanced with genuine humor and raw emotion. Thankfully, we as Christians have the tools to reconcile and deal with these types of relationship issues with maturity. I’m glad to have seen this film for the benefit of appreciating both my spouse and my Lord, as this is what life might look like without them.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
Jennifer, age 28
Positive—Besides the offensive language, I very much enjoyed it. I thought the movie was true to real life situations and promoted the importance of communication. I think too many people were expecting it to be a comedy. It had its funny moments, but that wasn’t the main focus of the movie.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
Lauren, age 21
Neutral—While I can’t really recommend this movie due to the lack of moral values that many of the characters portrayed, I will have to say it was better than I expected it to be. The main characters learn a lesson about selflessness that is encouraging. The content is definitely aimed at an adult audience and the theaters in our area have this movie listed as rated R. I think this is a more appropriate rating. I’m not overly conservative with movies, and I wouldn’t let my 13 yr. old see this.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
Rachelle Smotherman, age 33
Neutral—I personally felt the movie depicted parts of my life with my husband. Since it hit home, I felt the character’s emotions that were portrayed. To my surprise, my husband seemed to recognize this too, and I was actually encouraged that the characters finally talked through some issues. The best friend talking through the why’s and explaining to Vaughn how his behavior effects people seemed to hit home for my husband and I. Of course, in the movie, things were too late to continue the relationship, but it actually gave my husband and I things to discuss and a new appreciation for each other to hang in there and realize we love each other and want to show that love more.

The nudity and living together before marriage wasn’t necessary and a big turnoff. I wouldn’t recommend this movie to children whatsoever.

This movie definitely shows how important communication is in any relationship though and also reflects how relationships take turns, especially when Christ isn’t included.
My Ratings: Average / 3

Julie Wittmann, age 37

Neutral—Just a quick comment to all who wrote negative comments—this is the real world, and this [is] the way that real people live these days. All the counting of swear words would tire me out during a normal work day, everyday, so why bother counting during a movie!! This is REAL LIFE folks. If you want to stick your head in the sand and ignore the real world, then I would suggest you don’t view ANY movies beyond a G rating and you cancel any cable subscription you might have, because this is what the world is today and their only hope in changing is through Jesus Christ.
My Ratings: Average / 3
Glen Maillet, age 37
Negative—One may try to think of good qualities of this movie, something worthwhile, but all in all, it was a waste of time. I was not entertained by watching a couple fight and argue. They didn’t learn to reconcile or work with each other as they went their separate ways—even after bumping into each other later on, after they had split.

I may have laughed now and then, but, overall, who wants to watch people argue and try to do one upsmanship on each other? I wish I had watched it at home with a rental; I could have turned it off after 5 minutes. My suggestion is to go to a movie that will give you a positive, uplifting feeling—not this one! A good Christian would have sought the help of their minister or priest, shared feelings, perhaps Marriage Encounter, watched their language—in other words, everything that this couple didn’t do—“I” was the most important word for each of them, not “we” or “God makes 3 in our marriage.”
My Ratings: Offensive / 1
Anne, age 55
Negative—I thought this was going to be a romantic comedy. What a disappointment!!! All this couple did was fight, fight, fight. The only redeeming quality of the movie was that the man finally figured out IT WASN’T ALL ABOUT HIM!!! Some movies you can’t wait to see again on video—not this one. Too depressing and full of the Lord’s name in vain. It’s too bad I wasted my money. The sad part is I really liked the characters in the movie, but it just didn’t make you love them the way it was written.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 1
Kim, age 44
Negative—I viewed this movie tonight with my husband, my 17 yr old son, and my 15 yr old daughter. None of us thought too highly of the movie. If you want to go and watch 2 people fighting the whole time, then you should go see this movie. That was basically all it was. The Lord’s name was taken in vain A LOT. I couldn’t count how many times one of the main characters said gd, and that makes my skin crawl. There was very little humor, just fighting and yelling. I would not recommend this movie to anyone. It was not entertaining at all.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
Vicki, age 52
Negative—I had my concerns about seeing this movie. But it looked funny in the previews. So I prayed about it and decided to go, planning to write a review after.

Overall, aside from the things I will mention in a moment, this was an interesting and funny movie. The humour in it, while not always clean, was hilarious. And the movie moved at a moderately fast pace. I was able to get involved and care for the characters. And it wasn’t cheesy at all. But…

In the first five minutes, you have the first swear word. And it doesn’t stop. I tried to keep count of the words, but I couldn’t. By, at the most, 15 minutes into the movie, I had tallied well over 20 words, several of them taking the Lord’s name in vain. And like I said, it didn’t stop, swearing took place through-out a majority of the movie.

There are three scenes of nudity, all from behind. (The first is seen in the preview where the female lead walks through the house naked, with the hope of getting the male’s attention. The second was a partially-nude female dancing in front of the male lead wearing nothing but her underwear. He is implied to be wearing very little if nothing, covering himself with a couch pillow. The third is a male nude model posing for the artist, M. Dean. Again, these are all seen only from behind.) Those were the only nude scenes, but there were many instances of immodesty through-out the movie.

One thing I found somewhat refreshing was the fact that there was not a single sex scene in the entire movie. There are several instances were the actors seem to head in that direction, but it never happens. There was, I think, only one kiss in the entire movie, and it was not sensual at all. While there was no sex scenes, there were plenty of sexual jokes, some of them rather course.

Also, while I didn’t find this offensive, but some may, there were quite a few scenes with drinking in them… no one gets completely drunk or anything. But characters are often seen drinking to help with their problems.

Lastly, while I myself may or may not approve of homosexuality, it is a part of our culture and as Hollywood is a part of it too, I don’t expect them to not have gay roles in movies. That said, if gay characters bother you, know that this movie has two. One is outright gay and the other is assumed. They were both funny characters. I don’t approve of the lifestyles, but I loved the characters.

Quality wise, I give this a four. The movie takes an interesting veer from your normal romantic comedy, the soundtrack is great, the script well written and the acting strong. But without a remote control to fast forward with and a language filter, I don’t recommend this movie. There was just too much swearing and sexual content for me to be comfortable.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4
Christa Joy, age 19
Negative—My husband and I went to see “The Break-Up” on opening night. While there were several funny parts of the movie, we still left feeling very offended. The Lord’s name is taken in vain SEVERAL times. There are at least 3 scenes where women are not dressed or are undressing for men. My husband kept his eyes shut for several scenes. This was a waste of our money, and we are not recommending it to our friends.
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
Elizabeth, age 26
Negative—I was amazed at how many times GD could be used in a sentence. Even the storyline for the movie was bad; my wife was hoping for a different ending; quite depressing. I believe because of the language, the rating should be bumped up to an “R.” This is one movie to avoid and not even rent when it comes out on DVD. We typically see PG-13 movies and expect some language but not like this. At times, I believe the audience was stunned in a few scenes. There are some funny scenes but not worth sitting through all the language and yelling. Quite not what I expected.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
Terry, age 41
Negative—My husband and I went to watch this movie and thought it would be a good “date night” type of movie. Wrong!! We couldn’t even make it past the first 30 minutes without hearing God’s name taken in vain at least 6 times. Our limit is 3. Needless to say, we walked out and left. I highly discourage anyone from watching this movie, as it takes someone precious (our Lord) and basically spits in His face and no one cares. Someone needs to stand up to Hollywood and not just “go with the flow.”
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
Tina, age 36
Negative—How was I disappointed in this film? Let me count the ways… As far as morality, I’ll begin by stating the obvious. A couple who is not married or engaged is sharing a condo together, and it is clear that they share a bedroom, so naturally they are sleeping together out of wedlock. Aside from that, I lost count of the amount of times that the Lord’s name was taken in vain. It was done so often I actually found this movie painful just to listen to. Thirdly, there is a scene of a woman’s completely nude backside. Most of what they show is a bit out of focus, but still, what was the point? Now, all of this may not have stood out to me so much if the film had been even the least bit entertaining. The commercials hyped it up as a comedy, but the truth is, it was mostly a relationship drama peppered with slightly humorous moments. The bickering scenes were uncomfortable to watch and the “funny” parts weren’t that funny. All in all, this movie was a let-down from beginning to end, I felt guilty having watched it, and I would not recommend it to anyone.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 2
Kim, age 25
Negative—I didn’t watch the whole movie, because it was long and boring. It was a glorified high school break-up. The movie showed a lack of commitment in a relationship. Men and woman who act like children, need to go back to high school. The couple in the movie, played mind games to try and get each other to do the things they wanted… real love; it not like this. But, on the good side, the movie showed the problems you CAN run into if you live with someone before marriage.
My Ratings: Offensive / 1
Angela, age 23
Negative—I fast forwarded through this movie before my husband and I watched it, because I had my concerns about its sexual content. I’m sure glad I did. I came across the following scenes: the female lead walking down the hall showing half of her behind trying to entice the male lead. When she walks back down the hall later, her body is in full view from behind and slightly out of focus but it’s clear enough to see her swaying her hips and showing her stuff. Later, the male lead goes to a club where several women are wearing nothing more than lingerie that is too small and dancing around. The female lead goes on several dates to make her boyfriend jealous and is always dressed way too sexy, showing much cleavage. The male lead plays strip poker with a group of large breasted women (one of whom takes off her top to reveal a much too small bra on very large breasts) and one of them does a dance for him where you see her from behind wearing nothing but skimpy underwear.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1
Jana, age 32
Comments from young people
Positive—I went to see this with my best friend and my boyfriend, and we all enjoyed it. A lot of people on this site are saying that the movie is bad or has bad stuff in it, but there was barely anything. The reason I’m only giving the movie 3 stars is because of the ending. Um I thought that at the end of the movie there would be a good ending, but the title says it like it is!…
My Ratings: Better than Average / 3
Shaniqua, age 13