Dir: Daryl Wein
Starring: Zoe Lister Jones, Daryl Wein, Julie White and Peter Friedman
“A young New York couple intricately strategize their own break up”…..does that sound like a Woody Allen film or what? Well it isn’t actually but it might as well have been as “Breaking Upwards” in my opinion tried to strive for the same feeling and ideas in the story/characters. Now even though I’m not exactly a big Woody Allen fan, I do like films involving two people in a complicated situation and how they plan on dealing with it throughout the course of the film. This film however did nothing new and it just fell flat too many times. Do you guys remember that movie “The Break-Up” with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston from a couple years back? Think of this film as almost the same thing except maybe a little more intricate, thought-out and actually funnier. However that doesn’t mean this new break-up film is any better by comparison.
First of all you have the main characters Zoe and Daryl who apparently have been together for many years and live in a beautiful New York City apartment together (even though they’re in their early 20’s and just out of college which makes me wonder how they can afford a place like that so early). First I’d like to say that I wouldn’t last 5 minutes with a woman like Zoe. Her “co-dependence” issues shown through the course of the story really started to aggravate me very early on and it actually made me wonder what the point was that they were trying to make. Is she afraid of commitment? Does she just flat out hate other people she’s involved with? I honestly couldn’t wrap my head around it. Her character comes off as neurotic, narcissistic and just flat-out bitchy. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t yelling at the screen for Daryl to just leave her and find someone else who won’t torture you cause I deeply sympathized with his character. I’m a firm believer that no one should be forced to suffer through torment in a relationship so it made this film very difficult to swallow at times. It was even more difficult to buy what was going on when they were “scheduling” days that would and would not see each other. Who the f#ck does that?! Honestly?! For that reason I think the film is a bit flawed as it’s just not realistic enough to really care. Both characters are gluttons for punishment therefore I don’t care to see either of them be happy. I just wanted them to break up and move on but maybe that was the point…I really don’t know. I think with a slightly more refined script it could have been better in that regard.
As for the directing, it was a solid effort from Daryl Wein (who also played Daryl in the film) and both he and Zoe Lister Jones (who plays Zoe) wrote the script as well so there was quite a bit of dedication from both parties on the film. I just think the overall message of the film and the writing throughout was slightly flawed in that I just didn’t see the point of why we were watching these two people self-destruct their relationship over the course of a year. I can’t relate to it because I wouldn’t put up with it. All the other flaws aside though it is a very well acted film with some great supporting cast members lending a hand to the story and both Zoe and Daryl do a great job interacting together until the conclusion which anyone could honestly see coming a mile away (HUGE cliche). Much like “The Break-Up” though, I honestly just didn’t care what either of the characters were going through nor did I ever want to see them stay together. I just couldn’t get invested into it. Maybe you will. I just think it all depends on how far we’ll go to try and be happy with another person.
The Australian DVD
Audio/Video: The video is a 16:9/2:35:1/ presentation. Audio is presented with Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0.
Picture/Sound quality is exceptional, it probably looks better than it should. The picture is quite sharp for the most part, with a very clear audio track.
Extras: The DVD release will come with additional extras.
* Deleted Scenes – The deleted scenes reel is a so-so affair, it doesn’t add much but interesting to see non the less.
* Behind The Scenes – This extra is very much an amateur effort, it basically is just a cameraman filming as scenes are being shot. There is not much to be gained from this, aside from seeing how they shot the film. Perhaps a full lot of cast and crew interviews would have been beneficial. It isn’t a bad extra but it certainly could have been better.
DVD details here.
Thanks to Bill at Gryphon Entertainment for the copy.