When you hear something is a Romantic Comedy, you expect a happy ending. What I both love and hate about The Break-Up – SPOILER ALERT – is that the couple doesn’t wind up together. I guess the title should’ve been the big clue there, but doesn’t love win over all? Not in this case and it’s a huge lesson in not wasting time on someone who is not “the one.”
Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston play Gary and Brooke, two single people in Chicago who meet at a Cubs game, begin dating and soon buy a condo together. He works at his family business as a tour guide and she has a career at an art gallery. We see them in the honeymoon phase early on but as the movie progresses, the little things start to annoy one another. After numerous attempts to make it work, Brooke has had enough and takes off for what is likely an Eat, Pray, Love situation in Europe. When she returns it’s Gary who has had the revelation and wants to make things work but it’s too late and they are done. With that they both move on with their lives, only to see one another some time later in the streets of the Windy City. They make small talk and then walk away from one another with a smile.
The problem with Brooke and Gary was that they went on too long before finally breaking it off. They wasted time with one another when they should’ve either tried to work it out when the little things were getting on their nerves soon after they moved in together, or said goodbye then and there. Instead they stayed together thinking they could work it out, that the other could change. Instead, the change didn’t happen until it was too late.
What sucks about the time wasted with someone is that you miss out on other opportunities when in a bad relationship. Brooke could have found someone who was less immature, and Gary could’ve been with a woman who was less stuffy. Instead they spent too much time believing their love was the strongest bond in the world, only to find out it was more like Elmer’s glue. What they did do though was show maturity over time. Gary changed his ways, Brooke grew to know what she really wanted and at the end they didn’t make a scene when passing one another in the street. They were civil. Perhaps I was too hard on this movie the first time around…
When you fall for someone fast, it’s easy to get swept away by the instant attraction and excitement they bring into your life but dating is one thing, being in a committed adult relationship is another. It takes work, compromise, maturity and understanding to make a relationship last and when those elements and then some aren’t in the pot – your love stew will go cold. As it did with Gary and Brooke. They may have been great when simply dating on a casual level, but they should’ve realized early on after moving in together that it wasn’t meant to be because neither were willing to put the ingredients and time in to make their relationship taste worthy.