This is the movie The Breakup was advertised to be.
Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has met a wonderful girl named Summer Finn (quirk-queen Zooey Deschanel.) From the beginning of their quasi, half-defined relationship, clear boundaries were set. Or were they? As the two spend time together growing closer, emotions and rules begin colliding to prove a time-tested truth: there’s no faster way to destroy a relationship than to take its temperature.
There’s plenty of chick flicks and boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-back movies out there. But how many break-up films are there where the “it” girl isn’t it? Not many, folks. In what could only be described as an anti-chick flick, the forgone conclusion is that he doesn’t get the girl, and everything being presented is what went right just before it went wrong. This film is also probably the best example in a while of a non-chronologically ordered film made perfectly watchable by meticulous editing and a solid starting script.
The film begins with its heart on its sleeve right out of the gate, indicating that there is still some bitterness about all this. All the rest of it goes on to describe how insane the pursuit of a desirable woman can drive a perfectly good man right over the edge. Best yet, neither can you say its the woman’s fault. By breaking down each issue point by point (example: the first part on “happy” day 33, what happened as a result later on “unhappy” day 125), the story holds more validity than it ever could watching it unfold in the actual order everything happened in.
To be clear, this isn’t an anti-relationship movie nor is it “woman bashing.” It’s about two people finding a commonality between themselves that didn’t pan out into something more, no matter how much we do or don’t want it to happen. But the icing on the cake is the film’s subtle message that you don’t really get over these things, the pain is just dulled down like any bad memory so you can get on with the rest of your life. Hey, these things take time, right?
(a three and a half skull recommendation out of four)