A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Breaker Upperers is a female buddy comedy from New Zealand about two best friends who provide a "break-up" service for folks who are either too cowardly or inept to split up with their partners (both heterosexual and homosexual) on their own. The BFF's own close friendship gets tested as well. Viewers can expect lots of swearing (i.e., "f--k," "s--t," "c--k"), bawdiness (i.e., "wank-dank," p---y," "vulva vaginitis," "banging"), and comically-raunchy situations (off-camera oral sex, a striptease). There's some frenetic, often silly sexual activity (i.e., kissing, undressing) as well as conversations about sex and exaggerated sexy dance moves. Characters drink alcohol in multiple scenes with some drunkenness. Cocaine (or phony cocaine) use is played for humor in a few scenes. Vomiting occurs (though not in relation to the ingestion of alcohol or drugs). Though comedy is at the heart of all of the questionable behavior, it's only appropriate for mature teens.
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What's the story?
Mel (Madeleine Sami) and Jen (Jackie van Beek) have created a unique business in THE BREAKER UPPERERS. Break-ups are their specialty. Hired by folks too cowardly to confront their "loved ones," the clients' unsuspecting partners are given the heave-ho by Mel and Jen. Disguises, tall tales, faux pregnancies, even police visits are all tools of their trade. Having met when they were being two-timed by the same man, the friends' business has become their life's work. It's also made Mel and Jen soulmates, if not a romantic team. Unfortunately, one "creative separation" threatens to undo the entire enterprise. Jordan (James Rolleston), a young rugby player, wants to break up with the formidable Sepa (Ana Scotney). Mel will pretend to be Jordan's unshakeable girlfriend. And, indeed, sparks fly between the two. When another spurned lover turns up to intrude, things get even shakier between Mel and Jen. Will their relationship be strong enough to withstand those who want nothing less than to facilitate the break-up of the breaker-uppers?
Is it any good?
With a profusion of dazzling comic actors in tow, a smartly bizarre premise to launch their unique brand of buddy comedy, and lots of talent, Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek make a terrific debut. Writing, directing, and starring in The Breaker Upperers, the two women make their Kiwi sense of humor accessible for everyone. Each of the distinctive performers seems to be having great fun, and it's contagious. Special applause to Ana Scotney for an the unforgettable Sepa. It's raunchy. It's over the top. But everyone plays it for real, so it isn't campy, it's just funny.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about movies that include comic drunkenness, laughable sexual activity, and drug use meant to elicit laughter. Does the humor make it any more suitable for teens, or is it still inappropriate? Why? How does your family determine which comedies are okay for kids?
What is the meaning of the term "dark comedy" (aka "black comedy" or "gallows humor")? What situations in The Breaker Uppers would be considered dark comedy?
In what ways might Mel and Jen be considered role models in spite of their zany behavior and misbehavior? What makes them sympathetic characters?
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