Breakin’ All the Rules
As the old song goes, ?breaking up is hard to do?, especially if you're the dumpee instead of the dumper.
Quincy Watson (Jamie Foxx) feels the pain of being jilted firsthand when his fianc0xE9e (Jennifer Esposito) unceremoniously walks out on him at their engagement party. In an attempt to get back at her, he takes the recent data he's gathered at work on employee termination and pens a manuscript about the rules of disengagement. The paperback becomes an instant best seller that propels Quincy into the spotlight and makes him an icon for everyone wanting to get out of a relationship.
Suddenly the guru of desertion is peddling advice at book signings and on daytime talk shows. He's also handing out free suggestions to womanizing cousin, Evan (Morris Chestunt), who is feeling unsettled about his three-month involvement with his girlfriend Nicky (Gabrielle Union). Worried that she might be ready to dump him, he wants to walk out before she gets a chance to do it first.
Feeling caught in a trap, Quincy's boss (Peter MacNicol) also wants to break up with his significant other but can't stand up to the strong-willed and calculating Helen (Bianca Lawson).
However his trendy counsel hits an unexpected snag when mistaken identities push all the wrong people together at the right time (or all the right people together at the wrong time). Rather than a text on breaking up, Quincy now needs a good manual on how to make a friendship work.
The relationships in this film seem scripted for disaster. Based on qualities like dishonesty, manipulation and mere sexual gratification, it's a wonder any of them last as long they do. Despite Quincy's claim that his suggestions for breaking up are based on scientific data, they include such unscientific activities as sulking, guilt laying, aggression and simply running away---no explanations included.
Not only will these immature behaviors bode ill in the real world, but parents may disagree with the amount of blatant sexual innuendo and frank discussion in this movie as well. Evan treats his encounters with woman like another notch on the bedpost. In order to get sexual favors, he also refuses to come clean when he is confused with someone else. An elderly patient at the hospital spends more time lusting after his nurse than concentrating on rehab and the scheming Helen willingly parts with whatever she needs to in order to control the men in her life.
In addition to their sexual obsessions, the film's characters also rely on alcohol to help them through the rough times. Although Quincy has a dream of finding a nice, normal girl to settle down with, his fascination with breaking up makes that goal highly improbable. Rather than concentrating on how to make an easy exit, he might find more success learning to work things out.