BREAKIN' ALL THE RULES (PG-13, 85 minutes)
With a plot like a Shakespearean comedy -- characters switch identities to woo the ones they love -- and a talented and attractive cast, "Breakin' All the Rules" has charm, but not enough to hide a frustrating lack of logic. The cast members try so hard to lend the material a casual sophistication that they undersell it; potential hilarity just wilts. Too sexualized and bawdy for middle-schoolers, the movie also glamorizes a sly, manipulative approach to relationships that in real life would lead to far more hurt than happiness.
"Breakin' All the Rules" is an adult PG-13 with frequent and occasionally crude sexual innuendo, including a creepy oft-repeated gag about a randy old man who asks a pretty physical therapist to touch his privates. Couples are shown in bed but with no sexual situations beyond kissing and modest undress. Other elements include drinking, rare profanity and a dog that gets hooked on booze.
Jamie Foxx plays Quincy, a magazine editor whose cowardly boss (Peter MacNicol) asks him to fire some employees. He quits instead. Then his girlfriend dumps him. Distraught, Quincy combines his research on firing people with his broken heart and comes up with a bestseller on how to break up. Now his former boss wants his advice on unloading a rapacious girlfriend (Jennifer Esposito), and Quincy's playboy cousin (Morris Chestnut) wants help saying ciao to his girlfriend (Gabrielle Union), with whom Quincy falls in love. Much entanglement ensues.
TROY (R, 165 minutes)
The Trojan War isn't the only battle in "Troy." Also at war are director Wolfgang Petersen's attempts to blend old-style epic filmmaking with computer-generated effects and old-style actors like Peter O'Toole with new-style stars like Brad Pitt. The results are sometimes thrilling, as when Achilles (Pitt) and King Priam (O'Toole) act off each other or when computer genius renders the Greek landing at Troy like some ancient Normandy invasion. But this conflation of stories from Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey" and Virgil's "Aeneid" is overlong, historically confusing and sometimes unintentionally funny -- Pitt doesn't do grandiosity very well. High-school audiences may find "Troy" a tad wanting in the sword-and-sorcery department, but those who like ancient history will love the film's look. And of course heartthrob Orlando Bloom plays Paris, who steals Helen (Diane Kruger) from Spartan King Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson) and starts the brouhaha. The filmmakers leave out the interfering Greek gods of the epic poems, and the dialogue is more clunky than Homeric.
A rather mild R, the battles in "Troy" have ferocity without much gore. There is a cringe-making scene, however, that will remind some of current events in Iraq -- when Achilles drags the body of Hector (impressive Eric Bana), Troy's great warrior and crown prince, so all can see his defeat. "Troy" includes mild verbal sexual innuendo and sexual situations with hints of nudity, steamy kisses and caresses but no explicit behavior. Soldiers harass a girl and threaten to brand her with a hot poker.