The Breaker Upperers revolves around two women, Jen (Van Beek) and Mel (Sami) who fall in with each other and become close friends after Jen discovers her boyfriend has been seeing Mel behind her back. Their cynicism about romantic love leads them to form an agency that specialises in breaking up couples (similar to the Wakaresaseya in Japan). To get the job done, the duo resort to various disguises and tricks. Business has been good over the past fifteen years, with a growing number of victims in their wake. One of them is Anna (Celia Pacquola, Offspring).
Jen and Mel have established a platonic, albeit codependent relationship. While out on a job, Mel falls in love with the client, Jordan (James Rolleston, Boy), who wants to break up with his girlfriend Sepa (Ana Scotney), but lacks the courage to say it to her face. This, along with Anna's subsequent re-appearance, puts Mel's personal and professional relationship with Jen to the test, which later sees Jen join forces with Sepa to break Mel and Jordan up and reunite Jordan and Sepa.
This buddy comedy evokes some memories of The Wedding Crashers starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. The chemistry between Van Beek and Sami is reminiscent of that between Vaughn and Wilson. It does not surprise that The Breaker Upperers received favourable reviews at the SXSW Festival. Closer to home, it was offered at the Sydney Film Festival last month, with The Guardian correspondent Luke Buckmaster giving it three out of five stars. The film's characters are mainly one-dimensional and its storyline rather loose. It is driven mainly by the energy of its lead actors, Sami and Van Beek, who wrote the script in addition to directing it.
Despite its apparent flaws, Rotten Tomatoes has given it a score of 90%. The likelihood that fans of romantic comedies will fall in love with The Breaker Upperers is rather high. After its successful run at the festival circuit in Sydney and Newcastle, The Breaker Upperers will be released commercially from 26 July across Australia.