The Breaker Upperers

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The Breaker Upperers
The Breaker Upperers poster.jpg
Directed by
Produced byCarthew Neal, Ainsley Gardiner, Georgina Conder
Written by
  • Madeleine Sami
  • Jackie van Beek
  • Madeleine Sami
  • Jackie van Beek
CinematographyGinny Loane
Edited byTom Eagles
Distributed byPiki Films
Release date
  • March 10, 2018 (2018-03-10) (South by Southwest)
  • May 3, 2018 (2018-05-03)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryNew Zealand
Box office$3,410,666 (NZD)

The Breaker Upperers is a New Zealand romantic-comedy film that was written, directed, and stars Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek. The film is about two women cynical about love, who set up an agency that helps break couples up.

The film was released in New Zealand on May 3, 2018[1] and internationally on Netflix (excluding New Zealand and Australia) on February 15, 2019. [2]


Jen and Mel run "The Breaker Upperers", an agency in Auckland for people who need help with breaking up with their significant others. They use unorthodox means to help their clients, such as impersonating police officers to inform a woman, Anna, that her husband has died and that his body has gone missing (though the latter is merely hiding in the agency's car).

During their twenties, the two women befriended each other after discovering that their then-boyfriend, Joe, had been cheating on both of them. Although Mel has moved on, Jen remains obsessed with Joe, who has moved back into town with his wife and children.

Mel becomes infatuated with Jordan, a seventeen-year-old client who is afraid to break up with his fearsome girlfriend, Sepa. The attraction is mutual, much to Jen's hesitance. The three meet with Sepa and her gang to break up the couple; Sepa does not take the news well and punches Jen in the face. After the incident, Mel and Jordan begin dating.

One day, Jen and Mel re-encounter Anna, who still believes that her husband's body is missing and that the two women are police officers. Anna and Mel soon become friends due to their many shared interests, which annoys Jen and makes her feel left out. Eventually, Anna begs the two women to provide her with access to her husband's file. Jen and Mel, who are dressed as police officers, attempt to continue the charade by taking Anna on a tour through the local police station. Their plot is revealed when a real officer mistakes them for being strippers and requests a lap dance. After providing the lap dance, a shocked Anna storms out of the station. Mel apologises and explains that Anna's husband had hired them. Anna does not forgive them; she is furious and states that what the two women are doing is wrong and that many people have been hurt by their actions.

Mel takes Anna's words to heart and considers leaving the agency, infuriating Jen, who sees nothing wrong with what they are doing. Their friendship is further complicated when Jen blames Mel for causing her breakup with Joe many years ago. Despite being reminded that Joe had hurt the both of them, Jen cuts Mel from her life. Mel leaves the agency.

Jen contacts Joe and they meet up for dinner at a restaurant. She declares her long-time love for him and states that he is "the one". Initially believing that she is joking, Joe laughs at her. He reveals that he had cheated on her with not only Mel, but with several other women as well. Joe rebuffs Jen by stating that although he was unfaithful in his youth, he has since grown up.

Meanwhile, Mel continues to date Jordan. Although he is a kind and caring person, she realises that due to his youth, Jordan remains naive and childish. He is also still in love with Sepa, who had been supportive of his budding rugby career. When Jen runs into Mel at the shops, the latter reveals that she is pregnant. She wishes to keep the baby, but is unsure of her relationship with Jordan.

Jen enlists the help of Sepa, who is still in love with Jordan. At the local pub, Jordan is being publicly congratulated on his recent contract to play rugby with the Gold Coast Titans. Mel is also in attendance, and she appears worried when Jordan states that he is willing to forfeit the contract to stay with her and the baby.

Sepa and her gang arrive at the pub with Jen. Sepa grabs the microphone and declares her love for Jordan, apologising for her confrontational personality and stating that she knows she needs to soften her behaviour. Sepa and her gang sing for Jordan, while Jen sings to Mel about their friendship. Mel then gently breaks up with Jordan, encouraging him to go back to Sepa and accept the rugby contract. She also ensures that she and their baby will come and visit him as often as possible. Satisfied with her support, he reunites with Sepa. Jen and Mel make amends, with Jen promising to be there for her friend and support her through motherhood.

In the end credits, Jen and Mel have since rebranded their agency to help clients with "make ups and break ups". They are seen reuniting couples, including those who had previously used the agency for break ups. Anna has forgiven Mel and the two resume their friendship. Jordan has moved to the Gold Coast and is seen happily playing with his infant daughter.



  1. ^ "The Breaker Upperers (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  2. ^ "The Breaker Upperers Gets Global Netflix Release in February". What's on Netflix. February 15, 2019.

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