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.