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The Break-Up (2006)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  2 June 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 97,300 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 482 user | 182 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

In a bid to keep their luxurious condo from their significant other, a couple's break-up proceeds to get uglier and nastier by the moment.



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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carson Wigham
Wendy Meyers
Howard Meyers
Elaine Robinson ...
Carol Grobowski
Jane Alderman ...
Mrs. Grobowski


In Chicago, the art dealer Brooke Meyers feels not appreciated and neglected by her immature boyfriend Gary Grobowski, who is partner with his two brothers in a tourism business, and decides to break-up with him to make Gary miss her. Gary misunderstands her true intention, both follow the wrong advice of family members and friends, beginning a war of sexes with no winner. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


. . . pick a side. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

2 June 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La rupture  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$52,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$39,172,785 (USA) (2 June 2006)


$2,412,807 (Argentina) (15 September 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In some scenes, Gary plays video games on his PlayStation 2. The list of games he plays includes Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004), Fight Night Round 3 (2006) and likely the 2006 edition of Madden NFL 2006 (2005). See more »


In one of the scenes where Gary plays Grand Theft Auto, his character is throwing Molotov Cocktails, but it is making the Grand Theft Auto rocket launcher sound. See more »


[first lines]
Gary: Come on, come on, come on.
Johnny O: All right, here we go.
See more »


Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »


Guitar Boogie Shuffle
Written & Produced by John O'Brien
Guitar - John O'Brien
Guitar - Ryan Williams
Bass - Jeff Phillips
Drums - Dave Borla
See more »

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User Reviews

Another disappointment in Aniston's oeuvre
11 June 2006 | by (Planet Earth) – See all my reviews

There's a moment in "The Break-Up" when art gallery owner Marilyn Dean (Judy Davis) turns to Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) and says, "This isn't surrealism. This isn't cubism. This is paint-by-numbers." Marilyn's referring to Brooke's relationship crisis with Gary (Vince Vaughn), but she very well could have been talking about the film. Of course, I doubt the writers, Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavendar, have that much of a sense of irony.

I realize there are loads of disappointed moviegoers who went in expecting a romantic comedy - and the film's trailers are to blame for that, I suppose - and, instead, found a bleakly dark film about the break-up of a relationship. Frankly, that's the only refreshing thing about this film.

This isn't a pat romantic comedy. However, it has all the trappings and clichés of one, down to the obligatory best friend for each main character. In Brooke's case, it is Addie, played by Joey Lauren Adams, who still has the cutest husky voice on film. And for Gary, there's Johnny O, played by Jon Favreau (what a shock!).

I have no problem sitting through a film that recounts a couple's break-up and the lengths to which they go to make the other miserable and/or jealous. However, in "The Break-Up," neither Gary nor Brooke is all that interesting a person. And - talk about suspension of disbelief

  • it's incredibly tough to swallow that these two would ever have found

each other even vaguely interesting.

Both Brooke and Gary are pedestrian people. Their arguments are, to quote Marilyn, paint-by-numbers. He's immature and accuses her of always nagging him; she complains he never listens to her and takes her for granted.

So we get to see these two bicker and yell about nothing; their methods to make each other jealous are neither inventive nor humorous. Watching this movie, I remembered how much I enjoyed "The War of the Roses" (1989), a superb, dark comedy about a disintegrating relationship. But that film was smart, had passion and Oliver and Barbara Rose's revenge was gleefully funny. There was something perversely delightful about that film. And we understood why Oliver and Barbara Rose liked each other so much, thanks to terrific chemistry between Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.

I have no idea whether Aniston and Vaughn have any on-screen chemistry. Because in "The Break-Up," we never ever get a sense of why Brooke and Gary are together or what brought them together. The film would've been well served had Garelick and Lavendar thought to give us a glimpse of these two people in love, so that we could then understand and sympathize when we saw their relationship crumbling. Instead, the writers resort to lazy storytelling. The film is peopled with dull and/or typical characters. The only pleasant surprise is Jason Bateman, turning an underwritten role of a rather slimy real estate agent into something that, at least, makes one smile. The always-terrific Vincent D'Onofrio's sparse scenes only make us yearn for more of him in this movie.

The others are true toss-aways. What Ann-Margret is doing in this movie as Brooke's mom is beyond me. They couldn't have plucked any middle-aged woman off the street for this thankless role? Ann-Margret's only purpose seems to be to provide some sort of musical background for a dinner-table scene that just strains to be funny. Apparently, we continue paying the price for "My Best Friend's Wedding" (1997).

There's nothing wrong about watching a movie about the break-up of a relationship. Francois Ozon handled the subject matter beautifully in "5X2" (2004), and just before I saw "The Break-Up," I watched another the French film, "Clara et Moi" (2004). Now, there was a film dealing with real issues, gave us characters we cared about and with whom we sympathized because we knew what brought them together and why they loved each other. Compared to those two films, "The Break-Up" seems downright mediocre and superficial, which is exactly what it is.

30 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ladies, would you even get with a guy like Gary? RTgirl
Totally accurate portrayal wfalenta
Funniest lines in the Movie?? pretty_eyez007
The most male bashing movie ever made!!! mcbain20
Do all relationships get destroyed over a game of pictionary? funkyrobot12345
Unrealistic!! lattelady63
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