She Says: Romance gone sour | PostIndependent.com
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She Says: Romance gone sour

If you’ve ever been through a bad break-up, you can relate – to at least one of the characters in Hollywood’s latest blockbuster.I could relate, and I wanted to bang my head against the wall for awhile, testament to the fact that the film, however Hollywood, hurled an arrow of emotion straight into my heart and struck bull’s-eye.The antithesis of a romantic comedy, “The Break-up” stars Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston portraying Gary and Brooke, a once-happy couple who loses the glue that holds them together. As the movie opens, a slide show reveals a history of blissful moments, moments that usually signify happily-ever-after. But this fairy tale plays out in reverse, and blissful moments are only the beginning. In the first scene, the personable and a little unkempt Gary, who gives bus tours of Chicago and the perfectly polished and a little reclusive Brooke, an art dealer, are already at war. She’s cooking dinner for their parents after working all day. She only asks that he brings home 12 lemons for the centerpiece. Simple enough? He brings home three.Early in the film, it’s hard not to take Brooke’s side. It seems evident that Gary’s a slacker.Although it’s obvious Brooke cares, while she thinks she’s communicating, what she’s really doing is nagging and making things worse. At the same time, Vaughn is everyone’s best bud, but Aniston’s. Sure, he’s funny, but he could care less about the relationship. What’s frustrating is that there’s no explanation for Gary’s unavailable status. Since the relationship had already gone haywire when the movie began, it’s hard to tell whether Brooke drove him to the point of numbness or if he had always been that way and it drove her off the edge.Well, that’s just the thing. It’s not always discernible in life either, when you have all the “facts.” And as in many failed relationships, while neither party is to credit, neither party is to blame either. As the two continue to live together, they each go to measures to pull pranks making each other’s lives all the miserable. Brooke has men showing up for dates while Gary has girls over to play strip poker. Here, they are both to blame.At the end of the day, the question is this: When things fall apart, why does it take so long to see that a relationship is not working? I guess it’s the beauty of the human spirit, to keep hoping. That or we’re just too stupid, too unconscious to know what’s good for us.At some point the two try to make amends. Of course, these are the relationships we must – ahhhh, sigh – endure, to learn from, to horn in on what we actually want out of a partnership. But it doesn’t mean that picking up pieces of our lives is easy, hopefully that it will be better the next time around.As even a movie needs closure, Vaughn and Aniston run into one another on the streets of Chicago in the last scene. Frankly, they seem very happy to see one another, and then that last hope, the last spark burns out, and a slide show of the not-so-happy times replaces the blissful ones just long enough to let them walk away knowing they made the right choice.


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