The Break Up Gets A New Ending

The-Break-UpDespite the fact that Jennifer Aniston doesn’t seem thrilled with it, I’m one of the few people actually looking forward to “The Break Up“. But I guess the studio execs weren’t happy with how the film ended.


It appears that the way the script and director saw it, and the end of “The Break Up”, the couple actually does stay broken up. Fair enough. However, after showing the film to a test audience, the people didn’t like that. They wanted to see something work out for poor Jennifer after getting dumped by Brad. And so, they went back to work and re-shot the ending to make it so Jennifer and Vince Vaughn get back together for a happy ending.

Uggg… doesn’t that mean (as the good folks over at Digital Spy pointed out) the movie should be called “The Make Up” instead???


This brings up a bigger question. Should a movie change itself just because the audience wants to see something different happen? I can see changing it if an audience just thinks a film sucks… but I don’t know about changing details just to suit the whims of an audience. They’re not the directors… why should they dictate what happens in a story?

Your thought?

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17 thoughts on “The Break Up Gets A New Ending

  1. We are doing this film on our podcast Cinematically Correct and would be interested to see this alternate ending. Any idea where it can be found?

  2. I think people like Jennifer Aniston because they can relate to her – shes not ultra glam like Angie, not someone that’s out of your league and totally celebritized, and so people sympathize with her.

    And I think the synopsis for The Break Up hints at a love story.

    “After Brooke (Aniston) calls it quits with her boyfriend Gary (Vaughn), neither person is willing to move out of the condo they share. Taking the advice of their repsective friends and confidants (and a few total strangers), they both engage in mental warfare designed to force the other person to flee the premises — until they both realize they might be fighting to keep their relationship alive.”

    I was very surprised to hear that in the original ending, they DIDNT end up together. If they’re both fighting to keep their relationship alive, I would think the people who would want to see this movie would expect them to have a happy ending… that line itself sort of hints that.

  3. A similar thing happened with Dodgeball… after showing it to a test audience the studios told the director to change the ending so that the team wins instead of losing… Pretty sure it happens in a bunch of other movies too…

  4. imagine if they had test audiences around in shakespeare’s day. jeez… we would have suffered thru a sickening, cloying end to ROMEO & JULIET where they both awoke and (shudder) lived happily ever after. and do you think BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN would have the same impact if they (shudder) lived happily ever after as ROMEO & JULIAN?

    here’s the kicker – who’s story is it? who’s vision is it? a test audience is about maximising box office – not story. and story rules. when story doesn’t rule, story sux.

    if the writer and director of THE BREAK UP don’t know how the story ends, why the hell did they start shooting it in the first place? clearly the project needed more time in development.

  5. Couldn’t agree more on the Jennifer Aniston take – what’s she ever done besides play Rachel (Along Came Polly, Bruce Almighty, Rumor Has It) or ‘sad’ Rachel (The Good Girl)? She’s a blah acrtess who plays blah roles in blah movies. Never understood the fascination this country has with her.

    I also have a hard time figuring out why audiences, test or real, require black and white endings to their movies. One of the things I loved the most about Sideways is the way it managed to carry a ‘love story’ in such a gray manner.

  6. I don’t understand the buzz as to why people are actually ‘looking forward’ to this movie.

    I’m a Vince Vaughn fan and I’m glad to see him getting deservedly bigger and better roles after his Wedding Crashers breakout, but please tell me what is the draw to Aniston? Other than Along Came Polly in 2004, what movie has she ever done that was a success (or better) because SHE was in it? I’m to the point where I avoid movies with her in it because it seems she is just cast because she’s Jennifer Aniston and that is enough of a draw in itself to former Friends fan, but that she never adds anything of value. You could plug almost any other decent actress into her past roles and they would be at least as good, if not better.

  7. John, the reason why test audiences dictate is because eventually, they will be REAL audiences who will pay to see it, and a romantic comedy with a sad ending will make less money than one with a happy ending. You think When Harry Met Sally would have been as big as it still is if they hadn’t hooked up at the end? It’s all about the money, honey.

  8. Damnit, I felt compelled to read the spoilers, and now what could be one of my favourite movies ever, has been ruined. Damn you John.
    /end sarcasm

  9. Test audiences are used by Executives as a method of avoiding blame if the script which they Greenlit(and probably barely read) fails to hit.
    This is a get out of jail card needed by marketing, publicity etc. to maintain a certain job security within the warm snuggly blankets of the studio gates.The cost of these ventures also requires the line “well we did what the test audience wanted” be available with the annual share holder’s report card.
    Also be aware the test screenings are NOT cheap(think 5 figures),Plenty of room there for weekends away on someone elses dime !!.
    Any way to try and skin a cat tho you would be hard pressed to score an Aniston film very high in the best circumstances, Rachel is all you’ll ever get.
    I would be interested to know what the low score was? .
    The lowest to date she has registered is a 27 (yes 27) when Rachel was pretending to be a young teenage wannabee rockstars girlfriend.

  10. They lost me when I saw the preview that shows them getting back together. Looked forward to the movie then they pull that crap.

  11. Wow I typed that last comment really quickly and it made me look really stupid. Haha!
    Me do have really good grammer in english! I’m a dumb cunt!

  12. They’re gonna need want to bank up big with this flick. Isn’t that the whole point of having two major stars the anchor the picture and having a big budget which i’ve heard that this does( and even more money to re-shoot the ending). The critics don’t pay for movie tickets … the general public do. So getting the audience on side is that the whole point of test screenings???

    I’m confused with what your saying John. The movie is made to suit the audience because the studio wants to make money.

  13. I think I agree with Jon. It would have been unpredictable if they stayed broken up, but since they get back together it’s going to be just like every other lame romance movie. And they shouldn’t have changed the ending because of the audience. And they felt bad because of her and Brad Pitt, that’s dumb; she’s not supposed to be Jennifer Aniston in the movie, she’s whoever her character is.

  14. Test audiences affect these things all the time. It’s sad but true.

    I remember reading a chapter about it in Bruce Campbell’s autobiography where he really really lays into the arbitrary nature of how test screenings are conducted and how feel back is collected from them and how they can utterly destroy a director’s work just because a bunch of mallrats got free tickets to see a movie early.

    It’s a horrible way of focus-grouping a movie into easy opening weekend money but zero integrity.

  15. I’m not looking forward to this at all. Yippee. Another romance movie where they get together at the end. Gee, how unpredictable.

    Honestly, though, this movie looked promising until I saw that they did that. Seriously, grow some balls, studios — be ORIGINAL for once. Of course test audiences don’t want to see people not get back together in the end, just like I didn’t want Fredo to be killed off in Godfather II. Does that mean I would ever in a million years want them to change that? No, that’s madness!!!!!!!!

    No, I don’t think they should have changed the ending, but it’s obvious that this movie is geared towards making money only and not really being a piece of cinema. If people didn’t like the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade SPOILER where Elsa died SPOILER which I’m sure many didn’t, should they have rewritten the ending? No, that’s nonsense.

    I could ramble and grumble about this for a few more paragraphs, but I’ll spare everyone.

  16. y do u say your one of the few people looking forward to the break up? everytime the trailer ends for it i can hear people in rows ahead of me whisper “i wanna see that”.
    anyways, that is lame if they make up at the end. but if they didnt always have happy endings the non happy ending movies wouldnt be valued as much.

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