We Broke Up parents guide

We Broke Up Parent Guide

Breaking up is hard to do...and to watch.

Overall C-

Digital on Demand: Days before her sister's wedding, Lori and Doug have a messy breakup. But both have roles to play in the wedding and rather than throw a wrench into the plans, the ex-couple agree to pretend they're still together.

Release date April 23, 2021

Violence A-
Sexual Content C
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is We Broke Up rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated We Broke Up Not Rated

Run Time: 80 minutes

Parent Movie Review

“Marry me.” These are normally considered magical words, the stuff of romantic daydreams. They are not usually seen as a reason to throw up. Especially when they are spoken in the context of a ten year relationship between a couple living happily together. But when Doug (William Jackson Harper) spontaneously proposes to Lori (Aya Cash), she vomits at his feet.

Not surprisingly, such a dramatic moment has profound repercussions, and the erstwhile lovebirds decide to end their relationship. There’s a catch: Lori’s sister, Bea (Sarah Bolger) is marrying Jayson (Tony Cavalero) on the weekend and both Doug and Lori have parts to play in the big day. Unwilling to put a damper on the happy couple’s festivities, Doug and Lori decide to fake it until the wedding is over. But playing a part can have unexpected consequences…

Romantic comedies often struggle to balance a love story with humor. So, how does We Broke Up manage the two? It’s okay. Setting a wedding at a wilderness camp creates plenty of opportunities for humorous incongruity and some of the jokes land. The romance is not at all swoon-worthy, but the emotions of love, ambivalence, vulnerability, anger, and hurt are believable and ground the story.

We Broke Up also benefits from strong acting. Sarah Bolger brings a light touch to her part as the ditzy but smarter-than-she-looks Bea and Tony Cavalero matches her as the sincere but flaky surfer dude type. William Jackson Harper invests his role as Doug with sincerity and raw vulnerability; in fact, he’s such an open character that viewers might wonder why he wants to marry the more neurotic Lori. Aya Cash creates a Lori who is brittle, constantly irritable, and, frankly, certain to be a challenging life partner. Throw in the communication problems and dysfunctional coping strategies (mainly booze) that the couple rely on, and this relationship obviously has a significant amount of work to do if it’s going to survive.

Where the movie falls down is in its disturbing content issues. The production is literally awash in alcohol, with main characters drinking at every conceivable opportunity and frequently becoming intoxicated. Heavy alcohol consumption is treated as a comic element, as is marijuana use on the part of main characters, who both smoke it and eat edibles. Characters get drunk at social events, while playing drinking games, and when trying to cope with emotional stress. In addition, there are over two dozen profanities and a non-explicit scene of sexual activity.

We Broke Up is unrated, but it clearly clocks in as a Restricted film. Even with adult audiences, it might struggle to find viewers. The film has funny moments and good performances, but breaking up is a depressing topic and rom-com fans are usually looking for a cheerier tone. It seems probable that this love story will have a hard time finding viewers who are willing to commit.

Directed by Jeff Rosenberg. Starring Aya Cash, William Jackson Harper, and Sarah Bolger. Running time: 80 minutes. Theatrical release April 23, 2021. Updated

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We Broke Up
Rating & Content Info

Why is We Broke Up rated Not Rated? We Broke Up is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence:  A character bumps her head and some blood is visible.
Sexual Content: A woman is seen from the shoulders up in the shower. Men and women kiss each other on several occasions. A character talks about quitting birth control. A man kisses a male friend in a non-sexual context. Characters joke about “fooling around” as teenagers. A man and woman kiss passionately in a hot tub. A couple has sex without explicit nudity.
Profanity: There are approximately 28 profanities, including over a dozen sexual expletives, and a mix of terms of deity, scatological curses, and minor swear words.
Alcohol / Drug Use:  Secondary character refers to “getting baked”. Characters frequently drink alcohol at social occasions. There is reference to a middle-schooler being drunk. Main characters share a joint (marijuana). Main characters get drunk on several occasions, especially when they are trying to cope with emotional stress. Play team drinking games involving high levels of alcohol consumption. Characters eat marijuana edibles after drinking lots of beer.

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We Broke Up Parents' Guide

What are the cracks in Doug and Lori’s relationship? Do you think the relationship can be fixed? What do you think about the decisions they make? Do you think they could have made different choices?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Romantic comedies and dramas usually focus on the beginnings of relationships. But there are a few that look at the end. He wants a relationship, she doesn’t in (500) Days of Summer. A long term couple calls it quits in The Break-Up and squabble over their shared stuff. A woman leaves her husband in search of fulfillment in Eat Pray Love.

If you’re looking for cheerier movies about repairing relationships, you can try the following movies. In Groundhog Day, a man lives the same day over and over again, giving him the chance to repair his relationship with the woman of his dreams. In Brooklyn, a young Irish girl falls in love in New York City, but her relationship is threatened when she has to make an urgent trip home. When a woman is injured in a car accident and loses her memory, her new husband tries to rekindle their relationship in The Vow. Modern Persuasion tells the story of a couple who split up after college and are reunited through work.