13 June 2006

Movie Review: The Break-up

I had the day off yesterday. I was in a crappy mood, I was tired of wallowing, I was ready for mindless escapism. So I did one of my favorite single-person things: an afternoon movie by myself. I love single matinees; it has that class-cutting thrill since it’s office hours, and there’s guilty pleasure in being alone in the dark, absorbed in a movie, and nobody knows where you are. My battered soul needed a romantic comedy, and The Break-up was playing nearby.

I’d never been to my neighborhood theater. What an assault on the senses. The main floor is a neoned, booming game room, filled with teens banging and slamming and joy-sticking. There's even a gong that some kid kept banging. Near the entrance is a video dance machine, with tiles that light up to show you where to move your feet. I watched this kid dance nonstop for several minutes. He danced hard and determined, but without any joy or a sense of fun. He just looked strange and a little sad.

Got my popcorn and went into the empty theater. Sat in the center of one of the back rows, leg-up with my ankles balanced on the chair in front of me. The popcorn was just OK, but they had cherry ICEEs, so I was a happy camper. About five minutes before the previews began, in walked a big-haired housewife and her surly teenaged daughter. And where do they sit? Smack-dab in front of me. WTF? There are three empty rows behind me, twenty empty rows in front of me … and Beehive Barb plops down in front of me. I wanted to kick her in the back of her Aqua-Netted head, point out all the empty chairs with my big toe, and explain that I was in a seriously crabby mood so it would behoove her to move … but, instead, I harrumphed and moved down one seat. They sat in complete silence, chomping popcorn — until the movie began, of course, when they suddenly had to chat for the first five minutes. Inside, I was Nicholas Cage in the shower scene in Valley Girl — pretending to shoot them, silently screaming at them, wishing them extreme harm. Sometimes I forget that I love people.

I let the anger go once they quit chatting and I got into the movie. The Break-up was better than I expected (I wasn't expecting a lot), and I got a quick tear-roll out of it (the point of romantic comedies, for my male readers). I love Vince Vaughn, and Jennifer Aniston’s pretty good in it. I most enjoyed Vince Vaughn’s scenes with the supporting actors, especially Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman, and Peter Billingsley (Ralphie from The Christmas Story; it’s a bit disconcerting to see him grown up). And I loved their condo. The Break-up isn't Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but it's good for a rainy afternoon matinee or as a rental this fall.



At 6/13/2006 06:57:00 PM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

Peter B. produces "Dinner w/ Five" on IFC starring Jon F. Just so you know.

At 6/13/2006 08:12:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Ah, Eternal Sunshine, what a great film. I love going to the movies but because I hate the people so much, I can't bring myself to often go. I prefer to make my own rude noises and chatter with my zillion inch widescreen tv.

At 6/13/2006 08:28:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

GRANT: Yep, I knew he produced Dinner for Five, but I think this is my first post-Ralphie sighting. When is Jon gonna do some more Df5 episodes?

DALE: See, you gotta love people so that you don't become a hermit. Widescreen, huh? Maybe being a hermit isn't so bad ...

At 6/13/2006 09:32:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Oh but hermiting is so fun! And people are so horrible yet necessary. I promise to only use the tv for good (like dvds and select shows in HD). And maybe it's not a whole zillion inches. But it's close.

At 6/13/2006 09:41:00 PM, Blogger barista brat said...

did you ever see 'love and sex' or was it called 'sex and love' with jon favreau and famke janssen? i think you'd really like it.

thanks for the movie review. i was on the fence as whether or not to see it.

At 6/13/2006 11:06:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

DALE: I'm a sociable hermit myself, so I understand your predicament. But you live in Toronto; why aren't you partying on Yonge Street?

BRAT: I've seen Love and Sex several times; love that movie. The Break-up is good, if you're in the mood for a rom-com.


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