Breakin' All the Rules
The year 2004 has been a banner one for Jaime Foxx. With Collateral, the star held his own against Tom Cruise in a Michael Mann film, and with Ray he may have locked himself an Oscar nomination for playing Ray Charles. Foxx's career is taking off to a much higher stratosphere far higher than he can climb with such projects as Breakin' All the Rules (2004). Just the same for a slight rom-com Rules is a harmless piece of Hollywood fluff. Foxx stars as Quincy Watson, an editor at a publishing house who's forced into helping his boss Phillip Gascon (Peter MacNichol) fire some of his co-workers. Quincy does some research on how to best lay someone off, and as he gets dumped by his fiancée Helen (Bianca Lawson), he comes to realize that breaking up is similar to sending a coworker packing. Inspired by his heartbreak, Quincy writes a how-to book on the art of best dumping someone, which becomes a best-seller. His best friend Evan (Morris Chestnut) finds much use for the text, but it misleads him to think that his girl Nicky (Gabrielle Union) is about to break it off with him (instead, she actually just got a haircut). Such leads Evan to send Quincy in his stead to the bar where they were to meet, but because of the haircut Quincy doesn't know the girl he's flirting with is Nicky who does know who he is. Quincy and Nicky (acting under the name of Mary) have real sparks, while Evan gets involved with Rita (Jennifer Esposito) who thinks he's Quincy because Evan was staying at Quincy's place, and because Phillip asked Quincy for pointer on how to dump Rita. Quincy is offering Phillip advice, but every time he's about to dump Rita, she gets the upper hand. Quincy makes roads with Nicky, but she wants to use Quincy for revenge, only she can't stop from falling for him. A comedy of mostly mistaken identities, formula pictures like this live or die on the star's charisma, and fortunately Union and Foxx have some chemistry. The script moves fast enough to keep things amusing, and at 85 minutes the movie probably will have a long life on cable. And if Foxx's stock keeps rising, maybe in another decade Breakin' All the Rules will be compared to Tom Hanks' similar "generic comedies redeemed by his presence" '80s period. Columbia TriStar presents the film in both anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) and pan-and-scan with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras include a commentary with writer director Daniel Taplitz, Lisa Tornell, and Gabrielle Union, a "making-of" featurette (18 min.), bloopers (2 min.) and a fake interview with Quincy (5 min.). Also included is a colorized Three Stooges short, "Hoi Polloi" (18 min.).