Breakin' All the Rules (2004) / Comedy-Romance
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for sexual humor, crude humor, language, and sexuality
Running Time: 85 min.
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut, Peter McNicol, Jennifer Esposito, Bianca Lawson, Jill Ritchie, Heather Headley (cameo)
Director: Daniel Taplitz
Screenplay: Daniel Taplitz
Review published June 13, 2005
In a year of film that would see Jamie Foxx score two Academy Award nominations for two different films (Collateral and Ray), Breakin' All the Rules might mark the end of an era for Foxx as starring in predominantly low-budget, low-brow comedies aimed mostly at African-Americans. However, one shouldn't pigeonhole this one too readily, despite the marketing, because as written and directed by Daniel Taplitz (Commandments, Black Magic), this film is a relatively straightforward romantic comedy that will probably appeal to all demographics who generally find romantic comedies appealing.
Foxx plays Quincy, a young, newly single man who writes a best-seller about the rules of how to successfully break up with your partner with the least amount of turbulence. The first man to try to prove Quincy's technique is his best friend Evan (Chestnut, Confidence), who has been itching of late to dump girlfriend Nicky (Union, Bad Boys II), but he wants to make it fast he fears that she is on the verge of doing the same to him. Through a set of circumstances too complicated to regurgitate here, Quincy ends up dating Nicky himself, not knowing this is Evan's soon to be ex-girl, while Evan pretends to be Quincy in his attempts to get in the pants of Rita (Esposito, The Master of Disguise), the gold digging wanna-be fiancée of Quincy's boss, Philip (MacNicol, "Ally McBeal"), whom Quincy has been coaching to learn how to break up with her.
As you can tell from the plot description, Breakin' All the Rules is a somewhat convoluted comedy of errors, not altogether dissimilar from the types of things you might see on sitcoms almost any night of the week on television. What does set it apart, other than the obviously longer running length, is an attractive and funny cast, with Jamie Foxx in full command in the romantic lead role.
Breakin' All the Rules is fairly disposable as a film, but for those in the mood for a bright, funny and lively romantic comedy with a good cast, you may want to give this one a shot for some escapist entertainment. Nicely shot with a solid soundtrack, it's a fun enough date flick, and at 85 minutes, doesn't overstay its welcome.
©2005 Vince Leo