Breakin' All The Rules Daniel Taplitz

Breakin' All The Rules Daniel Taplitz
Though its premise is quite original, Breakin' All The Rules succumbs to the fate of other formulaic romantic comedies that rely on played-out, mistaken identity plotlines. This is truly a shame, as the talented cast, including rising star Jamie Foxx and stunning actress Gabrielle Union, deserve better than this generally unfunny script. When his flaky fiancée dumps him, Quincy Watson (Foxx) takes it pretty hard. When he shows up for work at a publishing house the next day, the spineless CEO of the company (Peter MacNicol) informs him that he must study a psychological text about dismissing employees in the most efficient manner possible and then apply his findings to firing a slew of his co-workers. Already depressed, Watson opts to fire himself instead and retires home to stew about his misfortunes. When Quincy's cousin and co-worker Evan (Morris Chestnut) checks up on him, he discovers a slightly crazed version of Watson applying the science of firing people to relationships by composing a "how to" book on breaking up. As the book becomes a bestseller (published by Watson's former employer), Evan takes his cousin's advice as law and misreads his girl Nikki's (Union) tone of voice (she's upset about her new haircut and nervously tells Evan, "We have to talk") as signalling her desire to end their relationship. Though they've never met each other before, Evan sends Quincy to a bar to pre-emptively break up with Nikki before she can do the same to him and, based on Evan's description of her old hairstyle, "wacky" love and mistaken identities ensue. The story is further convoluted by a sub-plot involving Evan's meddling in the relationship of the hapless CEO and his gold-digging wife (Jennifer Esposito). Though the conceited commentary by the producers and director, and "making of" featurette might suggest otherwise, an interesting concept (Watson's "break up" book) is squandered in this predictable film. The saving grace and spark of the film are the strong performances by the cast, particularly that of Foxx and Union, who possess real chemistry together. Plus: Gag reel, Quincy Watson mock interview, the Three Stooges' short film Hoi Polloi. (Columbia Tri-Star)