New Zealand Comedy Film ‘The Breaker Upperers’ – Review

Tired of your relationship? No problem. Don’t have the balls to tell your other half it’s you, not them? We got this. Want to disappear from your partner’s life for good? Consider it done.

Madeleine Sami and Jackie Van Beek write, direct and star in The Breaker Upperers. They play best friends Mel and Jen, who fifteen years prior, found out they were sleeping with the same man. They got over this obstacle and formed not only a friendship but a business in which they break couples up for money. Equipped with a lack of shame and a lack of romantic relationships in their own lives, these bitter and cynical business partners are willing to do anything to rid paying customers of their relationships. Through a series of characters and elaborate, sometimes cruel package deals (country singers, kidnapping, missing persons), business is booming for the Breaker Upperers. But for Mel, a guilty conscience is forming for one of the victims of their ruse’s, while a new love interest threatens to ruin the girls’ friendship and business.

The Breaker Upperers will definitely appeal to those who appreciate comedies outside of the Hollywood mainstream. Their comedic free rein is apparent throughout, be it the vulgar language or the thoroughly enjoyable 90’s karaoke video homage to Celine Dion’s ageless ‘It’s All Coming Back To Me Now’, and the complex dance scene to K-Ci and Jo-Jo’s ‘All My Life’. Produced by Taika Waititi, that distinctive, self-deprecating New Zealand humour really carries the movie and will hopefully be received well in Australia and the rest of the world.

The Breaker Upperers movie review

While the premise of The Breaker Upperers is absurd and silly, the real moral of this story is not about leaving someone to find ‘The One’, but more about the power of friendship. In this case, Jen and Mel’s friendship, because the best love is the love you have with your ovaries-before-broveries-bestie.

While the film does entertain, it falls short in the abrupt ending. You really have no idea where the film is going to go. It meanders along and then without warning, gets wrapped up pretty quick. The film does a great job of featuring some quality supporting cast members, which again, would have been great to see in a more developed way or with just more screen time; a prime example being Jen’s cocaine sniffing, sex-crazed ‘high society’ mother, played by Rima Te Wiata.

If you are looking for some lighthearted, off-kilter comedy, you could do a lot worse. The Breaker Upperers has the ability to make you laugh and the on-screen chemistry between Sami and Van Beek makes it an enjoyable ride.

Fun Fact:

The Breaker Upperers grossed more than $1 million at the local New Zealand box office in just under two weeks. It’s on track to make the top 10 highest grossing films of all time at the local box office.

The Breaker Upperers
The Breaker Upperers
Entertainment Value
Reader Rating0 Votes
Directed By
Madeleine Sami
Jackie van Beek
Madeleine Sami
Jackie van Beek
James Rolleston
Celia Pacquola
Rima Te Wiata

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Steph Tuite
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About author
Films, food, tv, food. Also fluent in 90’s gangsta rap. Deserted Island Movie Collection: Paul Verhoeven in all his glory! Best Movie Snack: Chocolate, cheese and cider. That’s right I’m fancy.


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