Review: The Breaker Upperers

Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami in The Breaker Upperers

A comedy from New Zealand, The Breaker Upperers brings us new voices and faces with some original ideas that will make you laugh.

The Breaker Upperers is ostensibly about two women whose jobs are to help people who don’t have the courage to break up on their own. The two women break the bad news for the cowards. But it’s really about friendship and love. It just gets you there in a crazy, roundabout way.

Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami in The Breaker Upperers

The film was written by, directed by, and stars Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami as the two owners of the breaker upperers business. They use some unorthodox methods in their efforts to break up couples. In one scenario, they pretend to be cops and tell their mark that the client died.

Jen (van Beek) and Mel (Sami) have issues. Years ago, they both dated Joe (Cohen Holloway) and there are hard feelings there. Mel can’t seem to stop getting involved with the people they meet on the job. First Mel befriends Anna (Celia Pacquola). Then she takes up with 17 year old Jordan (James Rolleston).

Mel starts having second thoughts about what they are doing. It hurts people. Mel’s hesitation drives a wedge between Jen and Mel.

James Rolleston and Madeleine Sami in The Breaker Upperers

Mel’s relationship with Jordan brings up some serious problems between Jen and Mel, too. Plus there are problems from the girl Jordan hired them to break up with for him, Sepa (Ana Scotney).

Ana Scotney, Jackie van Beek, James Rolleston, Madeleine Sami  and others in The Breaker Upperers

Sepa never goes anywhere without her crew. Her tough looking and scary crew.

With a title like The Breaker Upperers, you might expect this comedy to be a little wild and it is. The characters might break into song and dance. Or they might have sex. Or they might snort Ajax thinking it’s cocaine. Or they might get pregnant without meaning to. The two creators threw a little of everything in here.

It’s raunchy humor much of the time, but it’s also relationship drama.

Points for inclusion in the film. Mel is bisexual. They work with several gay characters. Several Maori actors have speaking parts.

I enjoyed the Kiwi humor, the fresh faces, and the female-oriented storyline. This certainly isn’t a perfect movie, but it’s a fun watch.

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