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Awesome: 10.71%
Worth A Look: 10.71%
Just Average: 25%
Pretty Crappy50%
Sucks: 3.57%

3 reviews, 10 user ratings

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Breakin' All the Rules
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by Jason Whyte

"It just aint' that good."
2 stars

"Breakin' All The Rules" sits somewhere in the middle of the African-American comedy genre. It isn't as disastarous as something like "How High" or "The Wash" or anywhere as good as the surprisingly likable "Brown Sugar" (2002). It's along the lines of "Two Can Play That Game", "The Brothers", both of which are standard entires into this genre, and star one of "Breakin's" players, Morris Chestnut, playing the same role of a good-looking neurotic.

Jamie Foxx, the likable actor from "Ali" and "Any Given Sunday", plays Quincy, a writer for a men's magazine called Spoils that is falling under bad weather. His editor, Philip (Peter MacNicol) likes Quincy, and asks for his assistance in laying off employees. The timing is also bad because his girlfriend (Bianca Lawson) just left him, and decides to write a letter to her. Somehow, through all of his frustration, the letter leads to writing a book called the "Break Up Handbook" that helps men break up with women before they break up with men. (The line "We need to talk" gets a lot of discussion here.) The book is successful and makes Quincy a small star.

Quincy's cousin and friend Evan (Morris Chestnut) also wants help with his girlfriend Nicky (Gabrielle Union) who he thinks is about to break up with her. He sends Quincy to a bar to tell her that Evan wants to break up with her, but her hair is cut without anyone knowing, and suddenly the Mistaken Identity Subplot kicks in, and Quincy and Nicky begin to see each other. There's also a subplot with Philip the Editor and his girlfriend (Jennifer Esposito), a gold-digger who has a mistaken identity with Evan, who thinks he is Quincy, and let's not forget a cute pug dog who becomes a crazy alcoholic (don't ask).

There's some interesting wordplay and identity switching, as well as the enormous appeal of Foxx, Chestnut and Union, three great-looking actors who can do this kind of comedy in their sleep, but none of these subplots or identity-switching plots really add up to much. At best, we smile a bit when Evan and Nicky are together and we want them to be happy (hey, it's okay to go to a romantic comedy to see good-looking people fall in love), but we want the film to break out of the formula and be about the characters, instead of the conventions of the plot.

There's also the annoying trend of these kinds of movies where since the black actors are the principals, all of the white actors in the film are absolutely stupid and without a hint of reality to them. There's also the inclusion of some blatant rap-soundtrack cues that seem to only be selling a soundtrack than rather being a part of the story.

The director, Daniel Taplitz, has an odd control over much of the material. There's a finale involving a train station that almost appears to come out of nowhere, where Quincy chases Nicky after all of the subplots and identities are revealed, and the reasons that brought them here almost make no sense. It's as if the director wanted it this way just so he could have a finale at a train station, no matter what it does for the rest of the film. This is a silly movie with good actors, and we want it to be more.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=9578&reviewer=350
originally posted: 05/16/04 04:06:29
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User Comments

2/16/17 Anne some smiles, some laughs, kind of a dating farce 3 stars
3/01/06 John Aster Habig it is a very smart romantic comedy that pefectly fits the cast 5 stars
5/02/05 Bobby The movie was pretty witty and hip and the characters weren't stereotypical. 4 stars
12/07/04 Kevin It was really funny, and Jamie Fox was great 5 stars
5/23/04 SoulWave it's nice 4 stars
5/22/04 Foxtrot Wasn't Worth the Ticket Price 1 stars
5/20/04 Blakers a pretty bad film 2 stars
5/18/04 Samantha Cole GReat movie 4 stars
5/18/04 dek yarara Awesome Movie!!! 5 stars
5/08/04 Ray Breakin´ all the rules of a good movie!! 2 stars
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  14-May-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 12-Oct-2004


  12-Aug-2004 (M)

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