We Broke Up
Marriage/breakup comedy has language, substance use.
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We Broke Up
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that We Broke Up is a romantic dramedy that explores young adults' feelings about marriage. Main character Lori (Aya Cash) and her younger sister, Bea (Sarah Bolger), are children of divorce, which, it's implied, plays into their own views on the topic. Impulsive Bea jumps into marriage with an older but immature man, while Lori refuses to commit to anything that advances her life -- a career, a promotion, a house, or marriage. The action takes place during a wedding weekend, where young adults are shown having fun in the form of drinking excessively, smoking pot, and munching on edibles -- all with no consequences. Expect a fair bit of strong language ("bitch," "f--k," and more) and some passionate kissing that leads to sex. While the characters aren't clear role models, the movie does offer a positive representation of diversity.
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What's the Story?
In WE BROKE UP, longtime couple Lori (Aya Cash) and Doug (William Jackson Harper) end their relationship the day before Lori's sister, Bea (Sarah Bolger), gets married. But in order to not disrupt the wedding weekend, the ex-couple tries to pretend that everything is fine.
Is It Any Good?
We Broke Up is a bit confusing because it gives off all the signs of being a comedy except one: It's not funny. The premise is relatable -- what if you broke up with your longtime love the day before a family member's wedding? The setting is wacky: a wedding at a summer camp! And the sitcom-famous actors in the cast deliver their lines as if they're in a comedy, but it's tough to crack a smile. Here's why: The subject matter is actually a downer. Instead of going for over-the top laughs -- like Bridesmaids or Wedding Crashers -- We Broke Up plays out absurd situations more dramatically. Ultimately, it's a fun-killer.
Worse, the conflict makes no sense. Lori and Doug break up because he blindsides her with an off-the-cuff marriage proposal and is then dismayed by her shocked reaction. So we're supposed to believe they've been living together in a monogamous, loving relationship for a decade and they've never discussed their feeings about marriage? C'mon. What's worse, none of the characters show any personal growth. All of that said, these stilted characters do enrich the cinematic circuit with much needed positive representation. Lori and Bea's mom isn't thrilled with Bea's marriage, but it's not because Jayson isn't Jewish -- it's because they're both immature. And Lori and Doug are of different races, but no one comments or has an issue with it. So few films exist about mature breakups -- ones in which couples love and appreciate each other but realize that their relationship is over. It's too bad this one isn't more enjoyable.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the difficulties of breaking up, whether with friends or romantic partners. Does a breakup have to mean angry feelings? Why is it important for movies and the media to show that a couple can like and love each other but still decide to end their relationship for mature reasons?
How is substance use depicted? Is it glamorized? Are there realistic consequences? Why does that matter?
The film includes interfaith and interracial relationships without comment. How does that compare to films in which couples' differences in those areas create problems? Why are positive diverse representations in media important?
What clues does We Broke Up give viewers to how Lori and Bea's parents' divorce affected them? Why do you think they chose to let viewers figure it out, instead of making it more obvious?
- In theaters: April 16, 2021
- On DVD or streaming: April 23, 2021
- Cast: Aya Cash, William Jackson Harper, Sarah Bolger
- Director: Jeff Rosenberg
- Studio: Vertical Entertainment
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters
- Run time: 80 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: October 8, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Crime romcom has laughs, diversity, swearing, and sex.
Celeste and Jesse Forever
Talky hipster romcom explores the "perfect" divorce.
(500) Days of Summer
Smart, fresh romcom is best for older teens.
Fun romp has some sexual references and salty language.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Imaginative, loopy romance has mature themes, profanity.
When Harry Met Sally
Wit- and charm-filled romantic-comedy classic.
For kids who love movies about love
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