The Break-Up is a romantic comedy that is neither romantic nor particularly funny. To some degree, this is intentional, since the story concerns the end of a relationship rather than the beginning of one; indeed, the filmmakers have called it an "anti-romantic comedy." But even given that premise, this movie represents one huge wasted opportunity.
Take the central relationship. Vince Vaughn is a wisecracking guy's guy and Jennifer Aniston may well be America's favorite girl next door until she is well past retirement age, so the pairing of these two actors could have resulted in that rare chick flick that appeals to male moviegoers as much as the female ones. But surprisingly, the two barely have any chemistry (no matter what the tabloids might say about their offscreen exploits), and the film never bothers to show us why their characters got together in the first place.
Granted, the film does show us how they got together, sort of, as Gary Grobowski (Vaughn) spots Brooke Meyers (Aniston) from a distance at a baseball game and begins to woo her with his rat-a-tat, motor-mouthed charm. Brooke happens to be with a man, and the intensity with which Gary pursues her might have some women crying "Stalker!"—but for some reason, Brooke loses the other guy and heads off with Gary instead. Then the film fast-forwards to the present day. Gary and Brooke co-own a condo; and, after a mildly awkward dinner attended by both their families, a small disagreement over cleaning up the dishes turns into a big shouting match, and suddenly, just like that, they break up.
But the film never shows us why they got together—that is, it never shows us what it was about the personalities of these two people that made them seem like a worthy ...