What REALLY goes on in a job interview? Find out in the new revision of "Sweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed" (Warner Books) by Tony Medley, updated for the world of the Internet . Over 500,000 copies in print and the only book on the job interview written by an experienced interviewer, one who has conducted thousands of interviews. This is the truth, not the ivory tower speculations of those who write but have no actual experience. "One of the top five books every job seeker should read," says Hotjobs.com.

The Break-Up (8/10)

by Tony Medley

A funny thing happened to Brooke Meyers (Jennifer Aniston) and Gary (Vince Vaughn) on their way to an old Doris Day-Rock Hudson romantic comedy. They morphed into Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966). After starting out with an only in Hollywood pickup at a Cubs baseball game, where Gary and Brooke meet, director Peyton Reed wisely shows the courtship as stills under the opening titles. When the titles end and the movie finally starts, Brooke and Gary have moved in together and are a couple.

Reed’s last effort was “Down With Love” (2003), an execrable film that will forever remain on my bottom ten list. He rejuvenates himself with “The Break-Up.”

The only thing that marred this movie for me was that I couldn’t figure out what in the world would cause Brooke to like, much less love, Gary. What happened during those stills that prevented Brooke from discovering that Gary was the biggest boor ever to star in a romantic comedy? It vaguely reminded me of “A Guide for the Married Man” (1967) in which gorgeous Inger Stephens was the perfect wife, but Walter Matthau didn’t give her credit for anything. That, however, was a real comedy.

While this has its funny lines, it’s no more a comedy than was “Virginia Woolf.” It’s an attempt to take a serious look at how a relationship can fall apart, although the fact that there is nothing likeable or loveable about Gary weakens the thrust of the film. It would have been much more effective had credited writers Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavender created a character a little more sympathetic. As it is, there’s nothing to like about Gary. In fact, one of Brooke’s arranged beaus is as equally obtuse as Gary, causing this portrayal of men to be basically misandristic, because Gary’s best friend, bartender Johnny O (Jon Favreau) is as much a barbarian as the rest, until the end when he displays uncharacteristic sensitivity. This is yet another movie in which there is barely one admirable man in a leading role. While Brooke and her friends are likeable and reasonable, Gary and his friends have about as much merit as the guys in the  Miller Light beer commercial who get together to come up with “man rules.” Dopes, all.

Gary is such a jerk that it’s hard to understand how a man could like him, much less a talented, giving woman like Brooke. Vaughn does a remarkable job in making Gary such a boor it’s impossible to like him, while Aniston is touching and feisty as the lady who does all she can to keep the guy she thinks she loves, although the reason she loves him is well hidden. Finally, supporting actress Judy Davis comes close to stealing the movie with an Oscar nomination-deserving performance as Marilyn Dean, Brooke’s avant-garde employer.

Despite the flaws I’ve mentioned, this is a highly entertaining movie with a good story and believable dialogue, combining laughs with pathos.

June 1, 2006