The Break-Up

Vince Vaughn makes us laugh as a self-centered smartass.

Gary (Vince Vaughn) is a self-centered smart-ass who's obsessed with video games and shooting pool—hardly a catch, but he's got a silver tongue and a way to make people laugh, which is how he hooks up with ballet-loving Brooke (Jennifer Aniston). Before long, however, he's doing annoying man stuff: throwing clothes everywhere, being highly unmotivated to do chores, and listening to his PlayStation more than to her. She figures that threatening to leave will make him shape up, but she has neglected to account for his boundless narcissism and inability to realize that he's done anything wrong. Complicating matters is the Chicago condo they share, which neither can afford alone.

Vaughn is a very funny comic actor, so he can get away with baggy eyes and a paunch. Aniston's basically playing it straight, a sounding board for Vaughn's riffing. Of course, playing the angel is never as fun as being the imp, so while she smells of roses, he's the one to watch. Casting Jon Favreau as Vaughn's best friend also makes the movie a kind of sequel to Swingers. For these former cocktail swillers, 10 years later, Favreau has now gained weight, started going bald, and became angry and belligerent; while Vaughn remains the same smooth-talking man-child (and lands a great gal), but he's finally starting to discover that his act is getting old.

Is Break-Up worth your time? Let's put it this way: Whenever Vaughn is on-screen, it is. When he's not, it ain't.

 
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