August 27, 2014

Honesty is the Best Policy: The Break-Up (2006)


Do me a favor and close your eyes and picture the first date you ever had with your significant other. Did something awkward happen that suddenly made you change your mind about him/her in a positive way? For me, that is exactly what happened; that's why I think the movie The Break-Up is spot on: it was refreshingly honest about what happens in relationships.

From the first time that they met, you could tell that the awkwardness of their interaction ignited intrigue in Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) towards Gary (Vince Vaughn), but even more importantly his daring and brash attempt to get her attention was so honest in nature that Brooke couldn't help but be drawn in by his sincerity and apparent intent. The only problem after that first meeting is that if both Gary and Brooke would have continued to be as up front with each other about their feelings during the course of the relationship, it is far more likely that the relationship would have been a lot different; starting with the way that they fought.

The fight that ensued after the awkward dinner party was so telling about their relationship and so many others just like it. Now, don't get me wrong, while being honest, especially with our significant others is ideal, sometimes we may find that we let certain things slide. The only problem with letting those things slide or go unaddressed only builds resentment and just ends up being cataloged with everything else that bothers us. This is exactly what happened with Gary and Brooke. While yes she did happen to reference the fact that he only brought her 3 lemons instead of the 12 she asked for during the fight that led to the breakup,  the lemon mishap was more symbolic of the fact that he didn't care enough to bring her exactly what she asked for and which was her major complaint. Instead, he just assumed that she only needed a few lemons, hence his purchase of only 3, to prepare the dinner with. Sure, a simply phone call would have helped solve this problem before it began, but as we saw, Gary and Brooke were both bubbling with resentment towards each other over issues that they each let slide in an attempt to maybe have a more argument free relationship, only to find out that neither person was happy with the current status of the relationship. 

Then, of course, the real bad decision making started. Both Gary and Brooke then began to engage in not only self destructive game playing, but behavior that didn't honestly reflect what they truly wanted: to get each other back. Unfortunately, in this movie and in real life, nothing good ever comes from game playing and as a result, the wedge between the two grew larger; to the point of no return.

In my opinion, this movie not only is the perfect example of what not to do in a relationship, but also the perfect example for why honesty in a relationship is also the best policy. Without it, you're just wasting time playing games and maybe spending time with someone that perhaps you're not meant to be with anyway.