Breaking Upwards – Daryl Wein, 2010.
It has been quite a long time since I last watched a drama-comedy film, maybe because more dramatic or thrilling pictures personally gives me chills and allow my mind to travel freely, but I have to say I was quite entertained by this last one. Director Daryl Wein, part of the movement Mumblecore that I honestly would rather name community, crafts this flick about 2 years before working with Greta Gerwick in Lola Versus, a movie that I would not recommend to anyone who defines himself a movie buff. This is because Daryl Wein is definitely a charismatic character who knows what he is doing, but this all-alike cheesy mellow narratives give me chills, the frozen ones, to be clear. When I say I was captivated by Breaking Upwards it’s not because of its story or the remarkable performances of its actors, but because I found it fresh on a trade that, often, disappoints us in very bad ways when talking about comedies.
Daryl Wein is also the protagonist of his movie, and guess what? His character is also named after him. Daryl is a young man of 23 who in his life babysits, and what the movie turns around is his rusty relationship with Zoe, who, stunningly enough, is played by Zoe Listre-Jones. Their relationship is an insane one, tainted by a codependency that drives them mad and that will make them take an authentically interesting (I guess in a quite negative tone) choice; they will co-operate in breaking up, meaning they work out their breakup day by day. The great soundtrack and irony of the movie sparked by a certain bitter note played by the uncomfortable situation of the young guys involved shows that this low-budget movie picture can stand on its own, depicting a light-hearted not-soppy-at-all story. It is a simple and warm pastime that will entrain but no amaze the intellectually hungry.
I think Daryl Wein envisioned a cherry story and told it forthrightly, with neither modesty nor indulgence, aiming to entice and shimmer humane feelings on a saucepan. It makes us laugh, smile, sneer, eye watering. I am not shading the lack of originality of Breaking Upwards, but I think sometimes we all need some straight unambiguous stories to cheer ourselves, to feel less alone, to avoid the angst of our daily routines to possess and control us. We need more intelligent comedies, and with a little bit more of creative flair in the narrative itself I am the one to worship comedies.