Breaking Upwards - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Breaking Upwards Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 1, 2015
I think I was in my own transitional, break-up period when I first saw this movie about a stagnant couple that orchestrates an incremental break-up - spending less and less time with each other to cushion the emotional blow - so I really identified with the dragged out "break up that lasts longer than the relationship" heartbreak.

Upon rewatch though, I found the movie lacking in establishing shots; there's no room to breathe between each quirky little on-day and off-day conflict. The emotions are still real, and the final break-up and goodbye scenes are still brutal and bittersweet, respectively. Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones have easy, soul-connected chemistry - smartly deriving this movie from a real-life experiment - but their fictional counterparts could have used more grounded reasons for getting together and breaking up. I wonder if they are still on-again-off-again now that Zoe has gotten more mainstream famous.
November 28, 2013
This movie has a few redeeming scenes between the two leading characters. Overall you don't want to watch this train wreck happen, but you can't look away.
June 17, 2013
such a cute movie and so funny. I loved it. Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein are brilliant.
February 13, 2013
i don't know why y'all are hating on this movie, it was actually pretty good. the ending was a little bothersome but all in all i would recommend this. definitely better than most chick flicks.
October 26, 2012
a believable snapshot of a modern, young, city-dwelling couple trying to help themselves get out of their routine, and working out their issues on independence and intimacy. watch out for the moms in this one :)
i l liked how zoe's mom mentioned the guys on the jewish dating website were all octogenarians, and how daryl's mom played PI to suss out what was going on in zoe's life...
½ October 26, 2012
A break-up that lasts longer than the actual relationship, how many of us have known of something like that. The feeling of emotional codependency, fear of the unknown, and isolation in a metropolitan city is captured very well in the urban cinematography. But the characters that really shone were the Jewish moms :) Thoroughly enjoyable and nostalgic, if a bit heart-numbing.
September 2, 2012
there were genuinely funny moments.
i enjoyed more than disliked it but the couple did get kinda irritating with their antics, zoe lister being more so. francis benhamou (zoe lister jone's good friend in real-life too) from Arranged, has a cameo role here.
this was a fifteen thousand (US) dollars effort, very commendable!
August 26, 2012
Funny, original, and resonating.
½ June 15, 2012
A young couple realizes that their relationship is slowly breaking apart. They decide to actively push the progress to cushion the blow. It's quite an interesting idea. I am not sure if it was realized to its full potential. Interestingly, lead actors Wein and Lister-Jones, who are a real-life couple, kept their first names in the movie. It adds to the natural realistic feel of the movie.

The movie addresses a common problem of many couples. They have been together for a long time, got used to each other, attached, co-dependent. Yet, something is not working. Or something is just not as exciting as it used to be. However, they can't end it and let it slide until its too late to save anything. Sometimes saving the relationship is not in our control anymore so breaking up, with least damage possible, is the last possible act of control. And that's what the couple creatively does.

The lead characters are young and don't know what they want. They might be fleeing the seeming monotony of their relationship but they don't know what they look for. I think it's quite accurate for the portayed age group.

All in all, it's an interesting indie with some insights.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2012
A couple who are bored with their relationship incrementally break up.
Breaking Upwards is a charming, realistic depiction of a couple who are right for each other even though it feels wrong. Strong performances by director/editor/co-writer Daryl Wein and co-writer Zoe Lister Jones carry the film, which has a wry wit and some smart dialogue. And the last shot is truly heart-breaking.
There were few things about the film that I didn't like, but they were so essential to the story that they were impossible to ignore. At the beginning, the stated reason for their break up is that they're both "bored." I recall David Thewlis's monologue from Mike Leigh's Naked in which he rants against people who are bored despite having untold possibilities for engagement: "You have the universe explained to you, and you're bored with it," he says disdainfully. Equally, I recall a former teacher telling me, "If students say they're bored, then they're boring people." I have little patience for characters and real people telling me they're bored, so I was hoping that during the increments of the break-up, past issues would crop up so that we can understand that there is a deeper reason for their split. Most people in their early twenties haven't been hurt enough to deserve ennui.
Also, while on their days off, Daryl and Zoe have no shortage of other suitors. In the construction of the film's plot, this seems like an easy way out. Most often, the choices in real life aren't between a semi-fulfilling relationship and attention from new, flawed suitors (flawed certainly in Zoe's case, but not so much in Daryl's); the choices in real life are between a semi-fulfilling relationship and loneliness, which is a condition that motivates people much more than the lack of fulfillment one finds from fucking one's co-star in a bad off-Broadway play. I wanted to see these characters more vulnerable without each other, which would have made the ending of their relationship so much harder to stomach.
Overall, there is a lot to like about Breaking Upwards, and during all of my future (and one of my past) failed relationships, I'm going to use the phrase "Let's not break up; let's break upwards," but as a film, this indie comedy falls into the trapping tropes that most films of its ilk fall into, making it good enough to make me wish it were so much better.
½ February 24, 2012
A likeable film and an interesting look at a long term relationship, enjoyed the soundtrack too.
½ February 24, 2012
Fun, but get's a little to confusing by the end.
July 20, 2011
Boring and self-involved, much like its creators.
May 12, 2011
Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister Jones lead an amazing cast in this story about a couple that is bored with each other and basically tries to break up nicely. I love Julie White and Andrea Martin as the mothers of the mixed up couple.
½ April 13, 2011
"Can you give a man a minute, bitch?"
"Who you calling a bitch, bitch?"

This movie sucked. Two people break up slowly and drawn out end up sleeping with other people and get jealous and angry. The plot was good, the execution wasn't. Didn't love the characters and was just overall bored with this one.
April 1, 2011
An interesting exercise where you get to watch a couple try to gradually break up, which is only slightly less painful than doing it yourself when the characters are this deliciously flawed. Nothing spectacular, but the family dynamics and constantly forward moving storyline make it worthwhile.
Fun for me was the main female actress was also in a movie I saw where she played an Orthodox Jewish woman. It was fun for me to see her in such a different role.
The actress who plays Jason Schwartzman's wronged gf in the first season of Bored to Death was also in this. Is there a shortage of beautiful Jewish NYC based acresses? I highly doubt it.
March 28, 2011
I wasn't expecting to like this, but it was actually quite good and had some GREAT dialogue.
Super Reviewer
March 14, 2011
A realistic depiction of both the hardships and growth of a breaking relationship.
½ March 3, 2011
About a couple that wants to breakup, they're bored, but dont want to lose each other altogether. They try and take "days off" and do different things, not see each other on their days off. Learn how to be independent again. To see how they feel about it all, and if breaking up is really what they want to do.
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