MOVIE REVIEW: The Breaker Upperers (2018)

Kiwi best mates, Mel (Madeleine Sami) and Jen (Jackie van Beek) have not been successful in love. What they have been successful in is creating a unique business where they’ll break up with your significant other for you for a fee.

Their methods range from a simple call to elaborate fake deaths and disappearances, which normally leads to very satisfied customers. Of course when it comes to matters of love, things can never be expected to run smoothly for very long.

First Mel finds herself drawn to eighteen year old client, Jordan (James Rolleston), who wants shot of his intimidating girlfriend, Sepa (Ana Scotney). Then she decides to check in on Anna (Celia Paquola), who believes her boyfriend has vanished and starts to feel guilty about what she’s done. If that wasn’t enough, Joe (Cohen Holloway) the man who brought them together as friends but also broke both their hearts, is back in town.

Mel’s newly found conscience and Jen’s failure to deal with her past heartbreak throws the friendship into turmoil with hilarious and bizarre results and a question of whether things will ever be the way they were before.

The strippogram no one ordered

The Breaker Upperers isn’t going to be for everyone. Jen and Mel are relentlessly vulgar and crude and a lot of what happens in the film is properly off the wall. If you like your comedy fairly straightforward and “American”, you might find the quirkiness going on here a bit frustrating.

I loved almost all of it. I laughed out loud several times and became really invested in the characters quickly, especially Mel. I loved the insane schemes that they came up with for ending relationships and the variety in their clients. Every interaction with Jen’s posh bit insane family was pure gold and Sepa and her gang were terrifying but very funny.

The one thing I found uncomfortable was Mel’s relationship with Jordan. The age gap was just too big and it gave me a bit of the ick. Jordan is an adorable character and his random quirks, like calling Mel, Melon, are really funny. I can understand why Mel finds him physically attractive but he’s so immature, it kind of jarred and probably went further than it needed to.

Fortunately Mel and Jordan’s relationship is really more of a catalyst for Mel and Jen examining their relationship since the underlying theme is around the power if female friendships.

It’s a quick, quirky watch if you’re looking for something a bit different and light-hearted and aren’t afraid of a bit of raunchy humour.



  1. I watched a review of this on the BBC film review section of the news. Mark Kermode said it was a good idea, but ultimately a ‘one-joke’ film. I thought the trailer looked original, but respected his experience. However, I see it is on Netflix now, so I may well watch it. 🙂
    Thanks, Abbi.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. It’s not particularly sophisticated but it is funny. Well, it was to me anyway. I think you might get a giggle out of it, Pete.

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