I remember when The Village came out, many were disappointed because they went into the theater expecting a horror film--after all, isn’t that what it was marketed as--and left having seen a stirring and absorbing commentary on the politics of fear. Those who were able to forget the way in which the film was sold to them ended up enjoying it, even loving it. Those who insisted on hoping against hope that the film would turn into a movie about monsters gobbling up colonial settlers left sorely disappointed.
A word of caution to anyone heading off to see The Break-Up with the assumption that it is a romantic comedy: your TV ads are lying to you. This is not a comedy movie with a serious side. This is a serious movie with a comedic side.
Which is not to say you shouldn’t go see it. Just know what you’re in for.
The film has received generally unfavorable reviews, due mainly to the fact that the movie masquerades as a feel good, funny film when in actuality it is closer to The War of the Roses than The Wedding Crashers.
It is, I admit, an uncomfortable movie to sit through. Not only because Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston are so brutal to one another, but because their arguments so mirror real life. More than once I laughed out loud as the absurdities of their exchanges made me wonder if they’d, in fact, placed bugs in my apartment. More than once I cringed as I saw my own selfishness, ugliness and pride reflected in the characters on screen.
To be honest, The Break-Up put me in a funk the rest of the night. It really made me take a hard look at myself and my romantic relationship. It acted as a sort of cautionary tale--shape up now or this is what awaits you around the bend. And I suppose that any film that you walk away from having been encouraged to be a better person is a quality film, no matter how many stars it ended up getting.