"Breakin' All the Rules"
Directed by Daniel Taplitz.
Written by Daniel Taplitz.
Starring Jamie Foxx, Morris Chestnut, Gabrielle Union and
Release Year: 2004
Review Date: 5/11/04
My mom and I had a freebie, thanks to my
friend Tricia, so right from the start, "Breakin' All the
Rules"--the new comedy with Jamie Foxx and Morris Chestnut--was
looking smooth to me. Plus, thanks to a promotion by local
hip-hop station WPGC 95.5, I was guaranteed a solid, loud black
audience, which I have said time and again are required for getting
the true black comedy experience.
Foxx stars as Quincy, a magazine editor that
opens the film by getting dumped by his longtime model girlfriend
and enduring a substantial amount of emotional pain over the
breakup. He decides that rather than get mad, he'll get even
by writing a book, The Breakup Handbook, that will help men avoid
the same pitfalls he suffered through by making men more assertive
in handing their girlfriends the proverbial pink slip.
Quincy's cousin Evan (Chestnut) takes the advice and dumps his
current lady, Nikki (Gabrielle Union)...and Quincy unknowingly picks
up the pieces, starting a romance that Evan wouldn't approve of if
he knew it was going on.
And, the romantic comedy of errors begins.
Writer/director Daniel Taplitz's film feels a lot like two other
vehicles that just happened to star two of his current film's stars:
"The Brothers" (with Chestnut) and "Two Can Play That Game" (with
Union)...and, like those two films, the sexual politics are not news
to anyone, but the execution of some of the comedy in "Breakin' All
the Rules" really is hilarious, thanks to Foxx's great performance
and some of the support from Quincy's boss (Peter MacNichol, almost
over-the-top in his whiteness) and from Patrick Cranshaw, who played
Blue in "Old School" but nearly steals the movie with one of the
funniest one-liners of the year...which I can't even give away
because it's just so beautiful when you hear it!!
A decent soundtrack and good visuals (no one
will ever turn away from watching Union or Chestnut for long
stretches) make the 85-minute film fly by. The ending, though,
is badly drawn out and may in fact make you gag out loud, but you
knew what you signed up for when you walked into the theater, right?
Dog potty humor doesn't seem to fit with the other kinds of comedy
in "Breakin' All the Rules", but it might provide you with a chuckle
or two. At times, the film just looks kind of cheap, too;
maybe that was our projector, but I don't think so. Screen
Gems (the "ghetto house" studio of Sony's that puts out all of its
urban films) at least stays consistent with its past in this regard.
"Breakin' All the Rules" is a good time, a
brisk comedy that is completely forgotten by morning. Foxx
does give his normally charismatic performance a boost by being a
likeable romantic lead, and this is what drives the film to its
inevitable sappy conclusion. Nothing to write home about,
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard