The Broken Hearts Gallery (2020)
Director: Natalie Krinsky
Writer: Natalie Krinsky
Starring: Geraldine Viswanathan, Dacre Montgomery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Molly Gordon, Phillipa Soo, and Bernadette Peters
Plot: After an especially hard break up, Lucy starts an art gallery full of tokens of loves lost.
Review: I haven’t completely made up my mind on The Broken Hearts Gallery yet. I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly good movie, but I did enjoy it. It’s cliched and overwritten, but I still felt connected to the characters. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just a big softy, but I think I enjoyed this, on the surface, kind of average movie more than I was supposed to.
I do have to say that I enjoyed all of the characters. They’re all extremely likable, charismatic characters brought to life by charming, mostly up-and-coming actors. It’s hard not to fall in love with them just a little bit. Geraldine Viswanathan, who impressed in Blockers a few years ago, shines as the super energetic, charming female lead. You definitely end up sympathizing for her and wanting everything to work out. Then, we’ve got Dacre Montgomery (from Stranger Things) as the guy she’s trying to hook up with that just won’t give love a chance. It’s all stuff we’ve seen before but the characters definitely make it work. Plus, there’s an excellent supporting cast of names that you may not know but who’s faces are familiar. Her friends in particular are great. They’re played by the hopefully soon to be stars Molly Gordon (from Booksmart and Good Boys) and Phillipa Soo (from Hamilton). They’re probably the two characters I’ll remember most from this movie actually. They’re friendship was so unique and honest and heartfelt. If this were a tv show pilot, I’d probably keep watching just to get a few more doses of that relationship.
The main criticism I have with The Broken Hearts Gallery is with the dialogue. It’s too clever by about 30%. It’s one of those movies like a Juno or Lady Bird. You know, where every single line they say is clever, funny, and fast paced and no one acknowledges it. That type of dialogue always throws me off a bit. It always feels very written. Like, you can feel the writer perfecting it draft after draft. No one really talks like that. It’s just not natural.
But, I will say that The Broken Hearts Gallery did kind of win me over in the end. Like I said, I really enjoyed the characters and, within the final act, we learn some things about them that made the whole thing feel worth it. Character motivations finally clicked a bit and I was satisfied with having sat through it. Plus, I’m a big old romantic at heart and was won over by the cliched romantic comedy ending. I’m obviously not going to spoil anything… but you could probably figure it out on your own.
Overall, I did enjoy The Broken Hearts Gallery. The characters are likable. It’s romantic. I don’t know that I can recommend it to everyone. It’s still a little bit cliched and overwritten. But, if you’re looking for a cute date movie, you can do a lot worse.
TL;DR: Fun characters and a touching ending overshadow some too clever, cliched dialogue to make The Broken Hearts Gallery a rather pleasant experience.
Score: 7/10 (Good)