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.