Breakin' All the Rules: D. Stevens
Owen Gleiberman
May 12, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Breakin' All The Rules

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
85 minutes
Wide Release Date
05/14/04
performer
Jennifer Esposito, Jamie Foxx, Morris Chestnut, Gerald Emerick, Gabrielle Union
director
Daniel Taplitz
distributor
Screen Gems Inc.
author
Daniel Taplitz
genre
Romance, Comedy

We gave it a C+

Jamie Foxx is fast, funny, and a rather scary-looking dude. With his big-toothed grin, demonic flared eyeballs, and sculpted explosion of mini-dreads, he could be a cross between Matt Damon and Cesar Romero’s Joker. He’s got the appearance of a born anarchist, so it’s a surprise to see what an appealing romantic-comedy star he makes in Breakin’ All the Rules. As Quincy, who writes a self-help best-seller on how to break up with your significant other, Foxx isn’t playing a love-’em-and-leave-’em dog. He’s an ardent monogamist who got dumped by his fiancée and is now on the prowl — very, very tentatively.

As long as Foxx is discoursing on such breakup techniques as ”the passive-aggressive bullet straight to the head,” he rules the screen with his peppy ferocity. Then Quincy meets Nicky (Gabrielle Union), who’s gotten a haircut that allows everyone in the movie to compare her to Halle Berry. Wouldn’t it have been fine if she just looked like herself? The sparks fly, but ”Breakin’ All the Rules” insists on an overload of twists and obstacles, which means that Evan (Morris Chestnut), Nicky’s boyfriend and Quincy’s cousin, has to pine for her only because he thinks she’s dumping him. Which she isn’t. But she should be. Get the picture? The rules of good screenwriting are mostly broken, though Jamie Foxx’s smash-and-grab charisma remains intact.

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