As steaming services play a bigger and bigger role in the film and television industry, a lot of attention is going to their original content–but mainly streaming television shows. What about streaming movies? What hidden gems or washed up flops are hiding under the “___ Original” tab? Lets see what is awash in the stream.
The Breaker Upperers (2018)
Written and directed by Madeleine Sami, Jackie van Beek
“What we do, is take unhappy couples such as yourselves and consciously, forcibly and irreversibly uncouple you” -Jen
That’s the simple pitch for The Breaker Upperers. Stuck in a terrible relationship? Then Mel and Jen will get you out of it. By faking a cheating partner/pregnancy/your death as necessary. As joke set ups go, it’s a corker and Sami and Van Beek run with it brilliantly. It recalls What We Do In The Shadows with it’s dry, awkward and relentlessly funny script, performed by a cast that is excellent from top to bottom. (…Shadows’ Jermaine Clement has a cameo and Taika Waititi has an executive producer credit) New Zealand seems to have an inexhaustible supply of comic performers that commit completely whether it’s quiet discomfort or bananas dance numbers. Celine Dion has never been used as funnily as the 80s video/fantasy sequence. And it works because they clearly have a sincere love for her.
Throughout, the film matches the best work of Will Ferrell for deadpan absurdity but with lead characters that are much more grounded and natural. (Some of the minor roles go with straight up farce)
Ana Scotney as self styled gangsta love rival Sepa, with posse/dance crew
As relentlessly funny as it is, the film is more than a joke basket. It has a lovely warm feel to it and the central friendship turning from the cynicism of being constantly bombarded by bad relationships to a more optimistic view on love. Don’t worry, it always keeps a joke handy to undercut anything vaguely resembling schmaltz.
This movie not being pushed harder is a shame, but I’m confident it’s going to be quite the cult hit. Hopefully leading to more from Sami and Van Beek in future.
Hidden Gem or Washed Up Flop? Hidden Gem