Breakin' [1984]

Jamie Foxx proves a winning romantic lead in the surprisingly subtle Breakin' All the Rules. When Quincy (Foxx, Ali, Collateral) gets brutally dumped by his fiancee, he researches the psychology of firing employees to create a break-up guide--a guide to a kinder, gentler break-up. His cousin Evan (Morris Chestnut, The Brothers) is afraid that his girlfriend is going to dump him, so he asks for Quincy's help, setting in motion a web of mistaken identities that snares Evan's girlfriend Nicky (Gabrielle Union, Bring It On), Quincy's boss Philip (a wonderfully squirmy Peter MacNicol), and a blithe gold digger named Rita (Jennifer Esposito, Dracula 2000). Writer/director Daniel Taplitz gives his characters, if not three dimensions, then two and a half--comedy comes out of their personalities instead of lame gags. Add in some unpredictable plot twists, genuine chemistry between Foxx and Union, and the result is genuinely fun. --Bret Fetzer

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