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Breaking Up
Breaking Up
Actors: Russell Crowe, Salma Hayek, Abraham Alvarez, Carlo Corazon, Mary Ann Schmidt
Director: Robert Greenwald
Genres: Comedy, Drama
R     2004     1hr 30min

Monica teaches, Steve's a photographer. They've dated more than two years. They're arguing, and she leaves for her apartment, only to return in a few minutes to say they should stop seeing each other. A few days later, the...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Russell Crowe, Salma Hayek, Abraham Alvarez, Carlo Corazon, Mary Ann Schmidt
Director: Robert Greenwald
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Romantic Comedies, Love & Romance
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/01/2004
Original Release Date: 10/17/1997
Theatrical Release Date: 10/17/1997
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Give it a break!
Watson39 | Saginaw, Michigan United States | 02/17/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Hey guys, give this poor little flick a break! In the first place, if you are a Russell Crowe fan, I think you'll just like watching him because, darlings, he's at least half of what's on the screen at a given time. Yes, many of the criticisms in the other reviews are valid, but my husband and I...married 38 years this summer...saw ourselves all through the movie. (He cried at the ending.)I think anyone who's been in any kind of long-term relationship could get something from it. Okay, the "talking to the screen" bits are annoying. I felt the "man-on-the-street" interviews were relaxed but went on a bit too long, yadda, yadda, yadda. This will not be on anybody's list of top 5 or even top 100 ever, but any movie where Russell Crowe licks someone's toes has to be worth a look-see and given a little slack!"
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The adverse reaction to the movie by other reviewers makes me wonder. This movie ran alot like an independent film, and these types of films are not for eveyone. If you have ever been in a relationship that is full of fire but that cannot withstand the unfortunate weaknesses of human character, then you will understand, and quite possibly, as I do, think this was an excellent movie that was about real life. Not every movie should be larger than life, don't you think?"
Great Movie, Actors, Performances, But May Be Hard to Watch
Duane Thomas | Tacoma, WA United States | 02/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Breaking Up is a movie either loved or hated by everyone who sees it. No one is indifferent. It's the story of a very dysfunctional, pain-filled, sexually charged relationship between two people, Steve and Monica (Russell Crowe and Salma Hayek, both still a few years away at this time from major stardom) who don't have the emotional maturity to handle their sexuality in a responsible fashion. They have great sex, savage each other emotionally, break up, come back together, have more great sex, beat each other up some more, break up...until they're both hurt so deeply they just can't hack it anymore. If you've ever fallen into this category, you're going to love this movie because you'll see yourself in the characters. Or you're going to hate this movie because you see yourself in the characters. Breaking Up is frequently quite funny, but it's "you laugh so you won't cry" brand funny.

Russell Crowe is just amazingly good as Steve, flexing the acting chops that shortly will be exposed to the world in Gladiator. One thing impressive about Russell in Breaking Up is he's not afraid to look bad - emotionally strung-out, tired, unshaven, fat, sloppy. He's completely believable as a guy whose horrible relationship skills are eating him alive.

Salma Hayek matches Russell talent for talent. Director Robert Greenwald tells a touching story about Salma's audition for this role. She came in, she read, and as she was leaving told him, "Thank you for letting me audition for this part, even though I know I'm not going to get it." When he asked, "Why wouldn't you get it?" she told him every part she'd ever gotten so far was a role specifically for a Latina. But that's not the case with Monica - she could be ANYTHING. When Salma received the phone call telling her she'd gotten this part, and realized she'd landed her first role based solely on her own talent with ethnicity not a consideration, she started crying.

While we're on the topic of Salma Hayek, let's take a moment to recognize just how impressive she is, both as an actress and movie star. Really, she stands out from her peers in the actressing profession. In my opinion, there are three areas in which actresses (or actors, for that matter) can be so impressive it makes them a star: face, figure (the least important of the three, though certainly we shouldn't underestimate the fact that people enjoy looking at nice bodies), and acting talent. It's not necessary to have all three to be something of a success. Being really outstanding in any one of the three (except figure alone) and, eh, okay in one of the others can do it. Be impressive in more than one area and we consider that performer truly exceptional.

As moviegoers we've all seen actresses with a beautiful face and figure but not much acting talent. But we want to see them anyway (at least for awhile) because they're so much fun to look at. When that happens, we get Pamela Sue Anderson. Then we have actresses who aren't much in the sex goddess category, but their acting talent is so profound we find them fascinating anyway. When that happens, we get Kathy Bates or Judi Dench. If an actress has a fantastic face, decent acting skills but not much of a bod, we consider ourselves lucky and make her a star. When that happens, we get Michelle Pfeiffer. Once in a great while, along comes an actress with a great face and figure combined with solid though not Academy Award-level acting skills. When that happens, we get Marilyn Monroe or Catherine Zeta-Jones and rave about them. And then, a few times a century, there's an actress who has it all: the face of an angel, a body to match AND absolutely impeccable acting skills. When that happens, we get a young Bette Davis - or Salma Hayek.

Breaking Up was shot on a tiny million-dollar budget. At one point, while shooting a kitchen scene where Salma is chopping carrots, they had to stop filming for half an hour while someone ran to the grocery store because they didn't have enough carrots. Now THAT'S low-budget. There are very few special effects, very little in the way of Hollywood flash. Hell, aside from a few walk-ons, Steve and Monica are the only characters in the film. This is an actor's movie, it stands or falls on the strength of the work of the two main players. Fortunately, from our "main players" in this case we're getting early, exquisite work from two future stars."
Breaking Up
pstub | Dixon, Iowa United States | 11/19/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This film made me laugh, sigh, cringe and downright squirm as I watched it. It brought back way-too-vivid memories of the two great passions and subsequent breakups of my own life. The bathtub scene absolutely cracked me up, seeing what goes through a guy's head while he's acting all tough and "over it"- the camera angles are priceless. While it may be uncomfortable to watch at times, this movie does a good job of telling its story in a way that will ring true with a lot of people. The characters are well played, not always likeable, but familiar in their actions. It left me with a sad ache, a small sense of relief, and maybe a bit of hope . . . ."