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The Break-Up is a 2006 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Peyton Reed, starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston.

Tour guide Gary Grobowski (Vaughn) and art gallery manager Brooke Meyers (Aniston) meet and begin dating, eventually buying a condominium together. However, as the title implies, they break up. Since neither is willing to move out of their condo, they compromise by living as roommates; but each begins acting out to provoke the other in increasingly elaborate ways.


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This film contains examples of:

  • Ambiguous Ending: The film ends with the couple of the titular break-up meeting up on the street months after their break-up and exchanging pleasantries. It's left ambiguous if they will just go their separate ways or make another try at their relationship. An alternate deleted scene shows them meeting up with their new boy/girlfriend, who happen to look very similar to their exes, showing that they're not completely over one another.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Gary at one point finds his now ex-girlfriend Brooke asleep in their condo's living room. He watches her for a moment, smiles, and then makes his exit instead of waking her up.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Gary and Brooke officially break up and sell their apartment, but the ending implies that even if they don't reconcile or end up as friends, they have gotten past the hostility and can be genuinely civil.
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  • Coolest Club Ever: Gary's brother at one point takes him to a super cool club, making him feel intimidated and out of his element.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Gary is playing a boxing video game. Brooke walks over, goes to the fridge, gets a drink and walks back to her room all while naked. What's more, Brooke has recently gotten a bikini wax (or, in simple terms, had her vagina waxed). Gary gets knocked out in the video game.
  • Escape Call: Brooke and her friend arrange for the friend to call during Brooke's date that night, at which point Brooke can either ignore the call or pretend it's an emergency and leave. Her date turns out to be boring, so when the call comes, Brooke pretends there's an emergency on the other end and suddenly abandons her date.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: Subverted. The film opens with a Meet Cute, followed by a falling-in-love montage set to "You're My Best Friend," followed immediately by...well, read the title of the film again.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Averted. Neither character wants to move out, each—rightfully—feeling that they are entitled to the place, as they've both contributed financially. But despite both of them making a good living, it's made clear that neither can afford the apartment on their own, prompting their friend/realtor to suggest they sell it and split the proceeds.
  • Genre Shift: The film starts as a typical romantic comedy about a couple in the last parts of their relationship. About halfway through you realize it turned into an uncomfortably sad and bitter look at the central couple's role in the break-up, and the divisive effects it has on the couple's friends and acquaintances.
  • Henpecked Husband: Implied with Andrew, who votes to kick Gary off the bowling team because his wife pressures him to.
  • Informed Flaw: Brooke's boss tells her "You look like shit". This is conveyed...by her wearing her hair in a ponytail.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • When Brooke cries that she didn't really want to break up with Gary and that she just wanted him to appreciate all what she did for him, Gary asks why she didn't just tell him that. As one review pointed out, this echoed the sentiment of millions of men frustrated with their wives/girlfriends for expecting them to read their minds.
    • The fight that leads to their breakup has shades of this too. No matter how valid Brooke's complaints are, Gary has some legitimate ones too.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Though a Camp Gay, Richard delivers a quick curb stomp when Gary lays a hand on him. Later, the ego-hurt Gary complains that he was sucker-punched before he knew he was in a fight, and promises to bring some "Polacks who don't have a future" to back him up next time.
  • Operation: Jealousy: Attempted by both parties and failed miserably. The first guy Brooke brings home is a loser, while the second hits it off with Gary, but he's still so ticked off that he retaliates by hiring a bunch of exotic dancers for a party. Each is left so hurt and disgusted that it makes things worse.
  • Poor Communication Kills: After weeks/months of hostility, Brooke invites Gary to a concert. He fails to realize that this is a last-ditch attempt to save their relationship and stands her up, putting the final nail in the coffin. He later asks her why she didn't just tell him that she wanted to give it one last try.
  • Reality Ensues: Unlike many romantic comedies that would play out a Break Up to Make Up scenario, this couple stays apart—by the time Gary finally realizes what Brooke was trying to tell him and indicates that he's ready and willing to be the man she wants, she tearfully admits that she's too emotionally drained and doesn't love him anymore.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Johnny, who's been firmly on Gary's side through the break-up, gets one of these at the end, not unkindly but firmly taking Brooke's side and letting Gary know what a selfish and thoughtless person he is, to Brooke, to Johnny, to everyone he knows.

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