In these uneasy times, audiences need an escape, one that hearkens back to a time when things were a little more okay than how they are now. For many, film has been that escape though they may not be a viable solution for everyone at this time. Nevertheless, romantic comedies have been that escape for many audiences. However, that subgenre has arguably been a tired one at best, offering little to no innovation while repeatedly delivering the same story beats. When it comes to the latest romantic comedy, The Broken Hearts Gallery, it may bring some of those same beats to the table but presents them in a fresh way, proving a modern take on relationships while imbuing it with plenty of energy and a surprising amount of hilarious humor.
In terms of the story, The Broken Hearts Gallery is pretty self-explanatory as it tells the story of a young twenty-something art gallery assistant named Lucy (Viswanathan) who, after her latest tough break up with her boyfriend Max (Ambudkar), starts a pop-up gallery of her own. She was arguably an emotional hoarder who held an unhealthy grip on the past as the items she held on to brought upon memories of her past relationships. Unfortunately stumbling her way to the proverbial rock bottom both professionally and personally, her life started to turn around after stumbling onto a man named Nick (Montgomery), a prospective hotel owner working on renovating an old space for whom also reluctantly accepted to host her gallery. The contrast between he and Lucy definitely made for an entertaining albeit predictable watch as each could be described as on opposite sides of the spectrum (though that would clearly not be the case by the end).
Suffice it to say that Lucy’s experience with her Broken Hearts gallery was a healing one (little did she know that it would also be for the others who donated items to it and recorded funny videos telling the stories behind said items) but she wouldn’t be alone thanks to her eccentric friends Amanda (Molly Gordon) and Nadine (Philipa Soo). Nick had some personal growth to do as well but his subplot kind of gets lost in the shuffle. Though their relationship was an up and down one with the usual pitfalls and hurdles along the way to an inevitable end, the two were fun to watch together. One big reason for this was the film’s surprising humor which hit more often than not. The other one was its use of New York City, almost making it another character in the story.
In the end, the biggest reason why The Broken Hearts Gallery works as well as it did was its sharp script, direction, and performances with Viswanathan leading the way with a dynamic performance as Lucy. She was simply a powerhouse of charisma and presence that made it hard to not look away. While Montgomery did a formidable job as Nick, this was Viswanathan’s film. Meanwhile, Gordon and Soo as Amanda and Nadine had some funny line deliveries and Nathan Dales delivered a scene-stealing performance as Amanda’s mostly-silent boyfriend Jeff.
At the end of the day, The Broken Hearts Gallery was a nice surprise that rises above the romcom genre and delivers an entertaining watch.
still courtesy of Elevation Pictures
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