Kiwi comedy The Breaker Upperers smashes international debut at SXSW

 Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami in The Breaker Upperers.
Kiwi comediennes Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami wrote, directed and starred in The Breaker Upperers. Photo credit: Supplied

The latest tour-de-force of Kiwi comedy won't hit our screens until May, but it's already smashed its overseas debut.

Kiwi comediennes Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami wrote, directed and starred in The Breaker Upperers, which premiered at Austin's SXSW Festival over the weekend.

The movie follows two best friends who run a business breaking up couples for cash, after they were both burned romantically in the past. It stars a host of famous Kiwi faces including Boy actor James Rolleston, and is executive produced by Taika Waititi.

The Thor: Ragnarok director's star has had a dramatic rise in the US after appearances on talk shows and red carpets. But one US reviewer has made the major call that The Breaker Upperers "might even be funnier" than Waititi's international hit, Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

"The Breaker Upperers could also be part of the Taika Waititi Cinematic Universe. Aesthetically and in its comedic rhythm, they're a good match," wrote Film School Rejects' reviewer Neil Miller. 

"If you were to try and convince me that somewhere on the other side of town Sam Neill is kicking around with an ornery teenager named Ricky Baker, I'd buy it."

Other reviewers similarly raved.

Rotten Tomatoes Senior Editor Grae Drake said she had "uncontrollable giggles" during the screening.

"Outsourcing break-ups has never been so heartwarming!" she tweeted.

"At one point @jessiemaltin and I were holding hands, sharing the magic of FRIENDS AND DANCE SEQUENCES. New Zealand is awesome. Full stop."

Other SXSW attendees took to social media to gush about the film.

New Zealand audiences have to wait until May to see it, but if the international debut is anything to go by, Kiwi comedy has another hit on its hands.



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