THE BROKEN HEARTS GALLERY

★★★★

THERE’S AN ART TO A GOOD ROM-COM, AND THIS IS ONE OF THEM

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Chris dos Santos
17th September 2020

We all carry with us some kind of baggage, be it past lovers, friendships or family - but a lot of us also carry physical baggage. That One Direction concert ticket in the back of your closet that you went to with that friend you no longer speak to. The glow ring from that party you went to and had a big drunk talk with your best friend. The birthday card from that grandmother who passed away. We all have little things we hold on to. A lot of the time we hold on to a physical thing because it's easier to hold onto than actually deal with that emotional weight, and maybe one day we can move on from it.

Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan, 'Blockers', 'Bad Education'), keeps a memory from every aspect of her life, even on an occasion as simple as coffee with her best friends, she must take something to remember it. One night, she loses her job as assistant at a local art gallery and her boyfriend, Max (Utkarsh Ambudkar, 'Brittany Runs a Marathon', 'Pitch Perfect') breaks up with her. Drunk and alone, she calls an Uber, only to accidentally hop into Nick's (Dacre Montgomery, 'Power Rangers', 'Better Watch Out') car. Nick is building an hotel, and as the two bond, the idea arises for a gallery of items from past relationships as a way for people to let go and share their story.

'THE BROKEN HEARTS GALLERY' TRAILER

'The Broken Hearts Gallery' is a triumph; it shines in all areas. Viswanathan dazzles in the lead role, and is an absolute delight to watch. Every move she makes you are with her, and you feel her emotions at every step. Montgomery oozes charm (and very very good looks), even though when paired with Viswanathan loses some energy because she is just so god-damn adorable. Lucy's friends, Amanda (Molly Gordon, 'Booksmart', 'Good Boys') and Nadine (Phillipa Soo, Disney's 'Hamilton', 'The One and Only Ivan') also shine and provide some great laughs. Gordon continues to be a great stable for the comedy genre and Soo plays a lesbian - let me say that again: Phillipa Soo plays a lesbian - that's 5 stars right there. Amanda and her boyfriend Jeff are one the funniest on-screen couples we have seen in a long time. I didn't know Bernadette Peters ('Anastasia', 1982's 'Annie') blessed us all with a role in this film, and all I'll say is she "did it for the girls and gays, that's it".

First-time writer and director Natalie Krinsky, who has only worked on TV before this, absolutely crushes the game and is another welcome voice in the rom-com genre. Watching 'The Broken Hearts Gallery' felt like a victory: a female director and writer, an "unconventional" lead female as well as a POC and an interracial relationship that is never talked about or made the focus, plus the inclusion of LGBTQI+ characters who aren't token. And the film is hilarious and heartwarming, plus relatable and emotional, so there's a big reason to celebrate.

'The Broken Hearts Gallery' is a triumph, it shines in all areas. Viswanathan shines in the lead role, she is an absolute delight to watch. Every move she makes you are with her and feel her emotions at every step.

The characters in the film are all around 26, which is exciting because the actors are playing people closer to their actual age then high school students. But this comes with some weirdness because we are used to seeing them cast in younger roles; Viswanathan, Montgomery and Gordon are all known for playing high school students but Soo is known for playing Eliza Hamilton, so it did take a while to get used to her in a younger role. Particularly in the opening scene where we see them in high school, it felt odd seeing Soo with these typically teenage-cast actors. It's not the biggest issue as technically they all are between 24 and 30, but for me it took a while to adjust. If you aren't 'Hamilton' crazy I don't think this would bother you, but it is strange if you are familiar with their other works.

Another odd thing is both Viswanathan and Montgomery are Australian, and here they play Americans. It's funny that they chose two Australians for the film's leads.

'The Broken Hearts Galley' is the rom-com of the year. It succeeds on every level, thanks to its colour-blind approach to characters and some hilarious and heartfelt writing. Grab your partner, your friends - whoever you can - and enjoy this much-need film.

Okay, my Disney Channel fans unite: Selena Gomez is an executive producer on this film, and as we know she and Demi Lovato are no long friends. Well, 'The Broken Hearts Gallery' features a cover from Lovato. Does this mean the feud over? Is 'Princess Protection Program 2' happening?

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