Breaking up is easy to do

FACE OFF: Jackie van Beek, James Rolleston and Madeleine Sami confront angry ex-girlfriend Ana Scotneyand her crew in The Breaker Upperers.

The Breaker Upperers

  • Comedy; Cert M, contains drug use, sex scenes, sexual references and offensive language; 1hr 21mins
  • Starring: Madeleine Sami, Jackie van Beek, James Rolleston, Celia Pacquola, Rima Te Wiata, Cohen Holloway and Ana Scotney
  • Directors: Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek

MUCH as I love a bit of Kiwi comedy I was a bit nervous about reviewing The Breaker Upperers.

With Opotiki hometown hero James Rolleston featuring, Whakatane film producer Ainsley Gardiner in the driving seat, and Taika Waititi in an executive role, a bad review is going to go down in the Eastern Bay like a cold porridge sandwich.

Luckily for me The Breaker Upperers is as irreverent, funny, honest and likable as its cast and crew.

With comedians Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek writing, directing and starring in this big screen comedy, laughs are guaranteed.

They play Mel and Jen, whose long-standing friendship was formed in the fiery cauldron of heartbreak.

Together they run a business that, as the title suggests, helps people get out of their relationships in the cleanest, most cowardly way possible.

This leads to all sorts of hilarious capers as the friends impersonate police officers, folk singers and a variety of other personas to carry out their deceitful business.

However, when Cohen Holloway, the man who broke both of their hearts, appears back in their lives, the women must reassess what is important to them.

I love that this movie challenges society’s assumption that any single woman is just marking time until a man – or alternatively, a same-sex partner – comes along.

This assumption is personified in The Breaker Upperers by the gorgeous Rima Te Wiata, who plays Jen’s Real Housewives of Auckland-style mum.

It was also awesome to see Rolleston return to the screen. His innate charisma shows through as a very young and naive client who falls for Mel, across a prohibitively wide age gap, after she helps him break up with the tough and scarey Sepa (Ana Scotney).

The highlights of the film are van Beek’s dance scenes, in which she tries to pass herself of first as a stripper and then as part of a hip hop crew. Both are hilarious.