Written by Peter Duchan, Zoe Lister-Jones & Daryl Wein
Directed by Daryl Wein
Where & When: Laemmle Sunset 5, West Hollywood, CA. April 9, 2010 10:00PM
What do you do when you've been in a relationship for a few years and you seem happy in it but you are not sure if you are still in it because you are in love or just simply because you have grown dependant on having that person around?
That's the idea behind the new film, "Breaking Upwards" by director, Daryl Wein who acts, edited and co- wrote the film with actress, Zoe Lister-Jones who are a couple off screen as well as on. The film is loosely based on their relationship and the experiment they tried themselves.
Daryl (Daryl Wein) and Zoe (Zoe Lister-Jones) are twenty-somethings who have been together for four years. Daryl still lives with his parents and is currently a nanny but dreams of being a writer. Zoe is a struggling actress with body issues. They support each other in their pursuits and although they enjoy each other's company and always have a good time together, the relationship has grown stagnate.
They have recently decided to schedule days off from each other as way of seeing how life would be apart from each other. Things start off easily enough but they soon realize you can't just turn off your emotions. Daryl has his eye on other women and Zoe is attracted to her acting partner in a play but they find themselves very jealous despite the fact that they both agreed they could see other people.
In between, they get plenty of advise from each of their mothers.
Daryl's mother (Julie White), is an overbearing, hysterical woman who has no boundaries while Zoe's mother (Andrea Martin) is an open minded, new-age type who is more interested in being her daughter's friend than her mother. There is a job offer out of state which forces Daryl and Zoe to realize that they must make some difficult and painful decisions about their relationship.
"Breaking Upwards" has a great premise, filled with plenty of charm and a few laugh-out-loud moments. Mr. Wein and Ms Lister-Jones, who both have episodes of one of the "Law & Order" programs on their resumes, are both appealing performers and since they already had an established relationship, give off a natural screen chemistry. Ms Martin adds her wonderful comic flair to the film but Ms White's character, who I'm sure is doing the best she can with what she has to work with, comes across as extremely shrill with every appearance like nails on a chalkboard.
I know this was very low budget film and Mr. Wein's first feature but I think he would have benefited by having someone with a more objective eye edit the film and although the script has some good moments, it still needed little more work. These are both areas where a lot a money is not required. I'm not sure whether it was in the editing or the screenplay but there were a few moments, although it was cleared up later, where I was slightly confused in regards to what was happening in the film. Despite this, Mr. Wein shows much promise and I look forward in seeing what he does next. I think that if you interested in a smart, no frills romantic comedy that's just a little rough around the edges, then you should check out, "Breaking Upwards".