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Breakin' All The Rules
Breakin All the Rules

Starring Jamie Foxx, Morris Chestnut, Gabrielle Union, Jennifer Esposito, Peter MacNicol

There’s no surefire method to keep a breakup from causing plenty of heartache, but Daniel Taplitz’s Breakin’ All The Rules has plenty of suggestions.

Set in the backdrop of “hustle and bustle” magazine publicity and starring Jamie Foxx, Breakin’

All The Rules slickly bamboozles its target audience by projecting a How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days scenario through identifiable pictures like The Brothers and Two Can Play At That Game. Morris Chestnut and Gabrielle Union, from the latter two, offer their experience when it comes to the battle of the sexes.

Foxx returns to comedy after a series of dramatic parts on TV and in movies like Ali in a more romantic part than expected. His free-flowing brain seemed right for the outrageous Booty Call and here he’s the instinctive ad-man, Quincy for the Spoils publishing company. He gets a wake-up call at his engagement party when fiancee Helen (Bianca Lawson) dumps him. Then, his dorky boss Philip (Peter MacNicol of “Bean”) wants him to initiate some company restructuring.

The abruptness of it all sends a resigning Quincy home to write a handbook that starts off a lot like Neil Sedaka tune, “Breaking up is hard to do..” But a bestseller emerges in no time and the plot churns as a comedy from love triangles predicated on misunderstandings. Chestnut, who has some rapport with Foxx, is Quincy’s cool cousin Evan who wants his help to cut off ties with the gorgeous Nicky, played by Union, last seen in Bad Boys II.

Filmed on location in Los Angeles, Breakin’ All The Rules serves its opportunistic production quite well as things start to simmer between Quincy and Nicky. But the sparks between Foxx and Union never really catch fire. The mistaken identities for some may extend to issues of race and class as Taplitz navigates the proceedings from swank clubs and bars to a Heather Headley concert. It opens up questions to the importance of changing something about one’s self or life, but really is an excuse for aggressive types like Jennifer Esposito’s Rita, Phillip’s greedy girlfriend, to imperiously create overbearing moments that mostly downsize what could have been a trendy urban-friendly romantic comedy.

Breakin' All The Rules

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