Relationships are hard. They take the time and effort to tend to them properly or may they grow in weird directions or die off completely. Breaking Upwards tells the story of a young New York couple who choose to alter their relationship after four years to figure out what they should do. This "alteration" is to take a few days off a week from each other to explore their own independence.
Yes, it's kind of an odd solution to a complex problem. But creative people like writer Daryl (played by Daryl Wein) and actress Zoe (played by Zoe Lister-Jones) sometimes come up with some of the most creative solutions. That said, this couple makes even the most crazy couple seem relatively sane.
The film is loosely based on a year in the actors' actual lives and explores some very interesting concepts around monogamy and relationships. Marriage, polyamory, being single… they're all in play. And it's not just the relationships between the main two characters, but with their friends, parents, and coworkers.
Their parents are unique. Daryl's insane, neurotic parents are played by the always endearing Julie White (the mom from Transformers and Transformers 2) and Peter Friedman (The Savages). And Zoe's free love, pot-smoking mom is Andrea Martin (My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Each brings the baggage, experience, and perspective of relationships that worked or didn't, providing even more angles on the story of Daryl and Zoe.
When Daryl meets Erika (Olivia Thirlby from Juno and The Wackness), things get more complicated. Each faces their codependency and a new phase of the relationship with obvious trepidation and distress.
As romances go, I have to say this one has a good mix of comedy and serious drama. But the concept of a couple staying together a few days a week holds it together from beginning to end. And I have to say I enjoyed it all the way through, watching to see what would happen next in their relationship.
Though Breaking Upwards may not be a traditional date movie, it will certainly kick off some interesting conversations. If you have a chance, I highly recommend checking it out when it appears at the IFC Center in New York City and on video-on-demand April 2, 2010. For more information on the film, visit the official website.