The Breaker Upperers – Film Club Review

the breaker upperersNew Zealand has provided us with some amazing comedies in recent years. The latest to hit the screens is this romance-comedy that was written, directed and starring Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek. Have we fallen in love with this film or are we left saying “it’s not me, it’s you…”?

Title: The Breaker Upperers
Genre: Comedy
Classification: M
Director: Madeleine Sami, Jackie van Beek

Two women cynical in love, set up an agency to break couples up as a way to avoid letting go and moving on with their lives.MV5BNzQxYjg3NmQtMjNiMi00MGI1LTg0NjEtODk2NzMxMTI1MzFiXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTExNDQ2MTI@._V1_


In general, did people enjoy this film?

This film is certainly not perfect and given our love of most content to come out of NZ we were a little disappointed. You can tell that Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami gave this their best shot and that they had a lot of fun with the idea. Though it seems they might have had one too many ideas, with several storylines and plot points The Breaker Upperers is a little all over the place. While the dialogue and comedic timing is certainly there, the story and technical ability is a little lacking. Another comedy where all the best bits appear in the trailer and the feature itself falls short of what we’ve come to expect of New Zealand comedies. But perhaps we’re being too hard on an up-and-coming duo – it’s nice to see females gaining their place in the comedy film world – hopefully there are bigger and better things to come from these two.

What did they like / not like about it?

The opening 10-15 minutes are pretty rough, and it can be off-putting if you’re expecting something up to the standard of Taika Waititi’s films or Flight of the Conchords. However, it does set the standard for the rest of the film in a way: the polished quality isn’t quite there, and the humour is very hit and miss, but if you give it a chance and settle into that rhythm, then there is definitely a fair bit to enjoy here. I actually found that the closer it got to the end, the more the humour was working for me, and there are a lot of memorable moments in the second half. It’s not a great film, but it’s certainly a promising debut feature from the writer-director duo. – Liam

It was a far ditch from what the trailer promised and so I felt quite disappointed. It had a few moments that made me smile, but I never really lol’d. Although it was the first film for the directors, I think in the future their skills will improve, so I wish them all the best. - Lukas

While this film is certainly far from perfect, I do appreciate it for it’s efforts. As a fan of what New Zealand has been producing recently my hopes for this film were possibly a little too high and when it failed to deliver the standard I’m used to I was disappointed. However upon reflection it’s not all as bad as it could be. While the end result was a little all over the shop, the story was interesting and (most of) the comedy was on point. I look forward to seeing what these two do in the future. Mali

I really wanted to like this movie. Across all genres, NZ film is consistently well written and well executed so expectations were high. Sadly, The Breaker Upperers missed the mark in my opinion. The film felt like a half-hearted effort. The comedy lacked, the story was haphazard, and overall it just felt deflated. The lead characters’ attempt at humor seemed forced and immature which was a real shame. Worth watching for the supporting characters but as a whole, the film just didn’t stand out against the quality that’s been coming out of New Zealand.Sally

Keywords used to describe this movie:

Confused. Lost. Awkward. Disappointing. Light. Convoluted (at times). Mediocre. Wooden. Comedic. Amateur. Hit-and-Miss. Okay. Funny. Quirky. Flawed

Would people recommend it to a friend?

Maybe if they’re looking for a little light-hearted fun and don’t go in with high expectations.

Average rating:
A five-star rating




What did you think of The Breaker Upperers? We’d love to hear your thoughts! And make sure you stay up to date with the films so you can join in the conversation next fortnight.



And the next film is…

Title: Leave No Trace21_leavenotrace
Genre: Drama
Classification: G
Director: Debra Granik

A father and his thirteen year-old daughter are living an ideal existence in a vast urban park in Portland, Oregon, when a small mistake derails their lives forever.