Thursday, April 15, 2021

Movie with Abe: We Broke Up

We Broke Up
Directed by Jeff Rosenberg
Released April 16, 2021

Not every relationship proceeds at the same speed, and there is no one template for happiness. Society has created certain expectations of natural progression, and the stability of a union can be threatened when outside forces put pressure on an otherwise perfectly functional arrangement. The recognition that two parties want distinctly different things for their future can also derail a romance where a status quo has long been established, and it can be difficult or even impossible to reconcile or recover once an irreversible statement has been made.

Doug (William Jackson Harper) spontaneously proposes to his longtime girlfriend Lori (Aya Cash) while they are out one night getting takeout. Her response – to vomit – tells Doug all he needs to know about their future. The decision to part ways comes at a particularly bad time, as Lori’s sister Bea (Sarah Bolger) is getting married that weekend to her fiancé Jayson (Tony Cavalero). The two choose to attend and pretend to still be together, a concept that is far easier to execute in theory than it is in practice, especially since Lori’s mother Adelaide (Peri Gilpin) seems much more excited by the idea of having Doug join the family than she does about Jayson.

This film smartly brings together two performers well-known for TV roles where they have plenty to say about how relationships should function: Cash as the tremendously self-destructive Gretchen on “You’re the Worst” and Harper as the philosophically-minded Chidi on “The Good Place.” Here, they play different people with their own strongly-held perspectives and engage marvelously with one another. The supporting cast is equally excellent, with Bolger and Cavalero making their characters feel equally dynamic and relevant to the story.

This film presents a rich and complex look at the intricacies of being with someone else, transplanting its characters into a complicated situation that allows them to more fully realize what they want as others open their eyes to unconsidered possibilities. Its plot trajectory isn’t entirely original, but these personalities feel real and relatable, and there’s an effective mix of humor and heart as the weekend plays out and brings with it both positive and negative developments. Director Jeff Rosenberg and his cowriter Laura Jacqmin bring to life a story that’s both a clever critique of romantic comedies and a wondrous affirmation of them at the same time.


No comments: