Break Up: Melissa Moseley
Tanner Stransky
October 17, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Break-Up

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
105 minutes
Wide Release Date
06/02/06
performer
Jennifer Aniston, Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau
director
Peyton Reed
distributor
Universal
author
Jay Lavender
genre
Comedy

We gave it a B-

Films like The Break-Up, so implicitly riddled with gossip about their headliners’ real-life romance, can’t seem to come along often enough for our tabloid-obsessed society. Two tittle-tattle faves — Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn — star as Brooke and Gary, an unmarried Chicago couple who co-own a condo and call it quits. Problem is, neither will leave — he installs a pool table, she flaunts other guys. Aniston and Vaughn work their expected sweetheart/frat-boy magic, but the wacky supporting cast — a self-possessed Judy Davis, deadpan Jon Favreau, sassy Justin Long, and John Michael Higgins as Brooke’s is-he-gay-or-not brother — salvages the sweet yet shallow story line. The slew of extras includes a tour of the Chicago settings, a featurette on the film’s hilarious a cappella group (the Tone Rangers), and the original ending, reshot when test audiences (or perhaps rag-reading Team Jen members) inveighed against the nail-in-coffin nature of Vaughniston’s onscreen demise. Neither denouement elevates this to the rom-com hall of fame. But the fact that both were filmed — and pop up here — only emphasizes the schizo strength of Hollywood’s tabloid democracy.

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