A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Message to enjoy love while it lasts is aimed at children of divorce, but overarching takeaway is more that love doesn't last. Sends message to be careful what you wish for. You could also say that it's irresponsible to suggest that parents who argue are destined for divorce.
Positive Role Models
Damian loves his parents, but the actions he takes in an effort to make them happy are wholly misguided. Adults face temptation and stand up to it, but overall they aren't role models.
This is a story about a White middle-class family, but Jesse and Erin's high school classmates reflect some racial diversity.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Story's plot is about fleeting nature of love, and several couples explore their romantic feelings. Hand-holding.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
A sprinkling of strong language includes "bastard," "goddammit," "hell," "s--t," and "f--k."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Heavy vaping by adults. References to smoking cigarettes. Reference to a person who developed a dependency on painkillers. In scenes set at a bar, it looks like characters are drinking, but it might be sodas or water.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Breaking Them Up is a family-UNfriendly film about a kid who schemes to make his bickering parents fall in love with other people so that they'll get divorced. The movie's message to enjoy love while it lasts is aimed at children of divorce, but the overarching takeaway is more that love doesn't last. Vaping is a plot point, and there's a lot of favorable conversation about the habit. Scenes set at bars and parties show people drinking something, but it could be water, juice, or soda. Strong language includes "s--t" and a single use of "f--k." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
What may have started out as a comforting comedy for children of divorce results in a film so bitter that you might as well call it an anti-family film. A teen sabotaging his parents' marriage in hopes that they'll cheat on each other and split up is the antidote to the feel-good romcom. Is it an original concept? Yes. But that's because it's such a bad idea. Even dismissing this effort as "entertainment," the story is more problematic than mind-easing, no matter what circumstance a family is facing. And making vaping look cool in a film geared toward tweens and teens is downright reckless.
The positive is that the dialogue is witty and openly acknowledges its inspirations. Some viewers may get a kick out of the love letter to Hitch, but the real issue is how it twists The Parent Trap. Films that show divorced parents getting back together can set up false hopes for young viewers, but it's perhaps even more detrimental for a film to suggest that parents who argue are destined for divorce. And then there's the takeaway that all good things must come to an end, including love. Finding "your person" is one of the most anticipated events in many people's lives, which is why so much art revolves around it. To create a piece of work that diminishes the hope of finding everlasting love is a cynicism no one needs, especially kids.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Movies to Help Kids Understand Divorce
Books to Help Kids Deal with Divorce
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate