If, as the ads would lead you to believe, you go to see "The Break-Up" expecting a romantic comedy, you will be severely disappointed. If you go to it expecting a good movie, you will also be severely disappointed.
As Variety's Brian Lowry wrote, "The Break-Up" may be "the first 'last-date' movie - the one you see with someone you're about to dump." If that's your intention, there can be no better choice.
It's not just that this film isn't funny. Ad campaigns, after all, are often intentionally misleading, and no one should expect a film to be just like its trailer. The problem is that this unfunny holler fest doesn't work as a serious film either. It's only reason for being, apparently, is as fodder for the Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn tabloid rumor mill. Both give clenched, one-note performances more suitable for the soaps.
Things go wrong with the movie right away. Gary (Vaughn), a bus-tour operator in Chicago, spots Brooke (Aniston), an upscale art-gallery employee, at a Cubs game and immediately puts the rush on her even though she's with a date. Gary's motormouth come-ons are reminiscent of what Vaughn spewed to much greater comic effect in "Wedding Crashers."
What follows is a lickety-split montage detailing the upward trajectory of the relationship. They end up sharing an elegant condo - much too spiffy for their salaries, but we'll let it pass - and right away things grind to a halt as we witness the first of an interminable series of arguments. She wants him to clean up after a dinner party and he wants to play video games.
They come apart before we have had a chance to see what brought them together. Why should we care since nothing is at stake?
Brooke threatens to leave and Gary calls her bluff. But, because both want to remain in the condo, they end up living in separate battle zones around a common area. He puts in a pool table and sleeps on the couch; she mopes in the bedroom and tries to make him jealous by bringing dates around.