Sisterhood, singlehood, comedy and chemistry, Netflix film The Breaker Upperers hits all the right notes.
The striking and charming aspect of Netflix film The Breaker Upperers is that both directors and writers starred in their movie as the lead characters. Have you ever done a project with your best friend, and realized the plan was only good because of your friendship? Well, I don’t know if Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek have a personal relationship off the screen, but it would not surprise me if they did. This film is short and sweet, and the chemistry is natural.
The premise speaks for itself; The Breaker Upperers is about two women, Mel and Jen, who run a business together breaking up dysfunctional relationships. Based on their clients, it’s usually the person who does not have the bravery to follow through with the deed. Using a series of scenarios and unworldly role-playing, the duo forces the break up with a guarantee of no return. In the opening scene, Mel and Jen explain to a woman that their partner has gone missing while wearing stolen police uniforms.
I suppose the marketing for Netflix is that they are releasing a movie that mocks relationships and celebrates independence next to Valentine’s Day. The film supports singlehood, and proudly aging without the cold curse of shame. On the same week the platform releases their attempt at a dating reality TV programme, which is entertaining but woefully superficial, The Breaker Upperers is an empowering comedy, tying together two strong female leads, persuading you to deactivate the plentiful dating apps on your sorry smartphone.
The comedy seeps through successfully in The Breaker Upperers and manages not to stagnate the concept with reruns of the duo doing the same old tiresome s**t, like many other Netflix films have done before. Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek found a balance of understanding each other’s performances and their own characters without breaking the atmosphere of the setting. So often we are subjected to overcooked gags, sugared over by macho attempts to make it more extensive than the joke itself, that it’s good to witness writers who understand when a joke starts and ends.
The Breaker Upperers is far from being one of the distinctive comedies of the year. The most important thing is that it’s worth lapping up on Valentine’s Day, with your Marks and Spencers meal for one, and a single candle, in the dark, with a glass of prosecco, because there’s nothing better than making a caricature of yourself on the most romantic (materialistic) day of the year.