The Breaker Upperers is a hilarious tale of two women who have taken the entrepreneurial friendship business cliché to a whole new level with wit, grit and unapologetic New Zealand comedy.
Mel (Madeleine Sami) and Jen (Jackie Van Beek) are best friends and housemates who have given up on ever finding love, using their tragic relationship experience to fuel their business called The Breaker Upperers – a professional relationship break-up service.
Mel and Jen impersonate police officers to announce to a naïve beau that their partner has tragically died or disappeared; make a scene at a wedding claiming to have been impregnated by the gay groom; and also dress up in western-country style outfits complete with a harmonica solo to dump a man via song.
However, when Mel breaks the ‘professional code’ and falls for 17-year-old Jordan (James Rollerton), who is trying to break up with his fierce girlfriend Sepa (Ana Scotney), everything falls on its head.
Brimming with cringy strip-teases, Sepa’s terrifyingly sassy ‘girl gang’ and hilariously choreographed dances, The Breaker Upperers will leave you in stitches.
Written, directed and starring Sami and Van Beek, the film is a refreshing take on the all-too-common comedy where the stars finally get the guy or vice versa. It’s novel to see two unladylike women who don’t fit into the societal norms in a film that doesn’t end by suggesting that they need a man to be happy.
Instead, The Breaker Upperers is a tale of friendship, societal pressure and heavy cocaine use.
The film’s only pitfall is its predictability and lack of surprise twists, but this is almost compensated by the relatable and blunt comedy.
Jen and Mel’s beat-up car, dingy office and unpaid, slightly strange intern are evidence of Van Beek and Sami’s side-splitting self-depreciation.
Just 81 minutes in duration, the film is slightly shorter than other comedies, but this is not a downfall as the viewer is left enjoying themselves until the very last minute.
Director of Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Thor: Ragnarok, and Boy, Taika Waititi helped to produce the film, which is a strong indicator of his faith in Sami and Van Beek. A wise decision by my reckoning, I will be surprised if we don’t see more films from the actors on the big screen soon.
For a hilarious move that is superficially an easy-watch while simultaneously providing a creative commentary on relationships in the modern world, look no further than The Breaker Upperers.
Rating: 3.5/ 5