'The Broken Hearts Gallery' Review
Sometimes a film defies its genre. “The Broken Hearts Gallery” is one such example. It’s designed to be a romantic comedy. However, this first major studio rom-com released theatrically since the COVID shutdown is not the least bit romantic. And it has zero moments of legit comedy.
I root for first-time directors. Fresh perspectives from new, talented voices are important. But what writer/director Natalie Krinsky has created in “TBHG” simply isn’t good.
As always, it all comes down to story, to writing. Actors can only excel when they’re given excel-lent material. Geraldine Viswanathan gave a confident, breakthrough performance earlier this year in “Bad Education”, holding her own with heavyweights Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney. But in “Broken Hearts”, Viswanathan’s Lucy is the most annoying movie character of 2020. She’s not funny, not original and not worth spending an hour and 45 minutes caring about.
This is yet another story about millennials living in New York City going through the ups and downs of relationships while drinking, partying and pursuing their far-out dreams without making a legitimate impact. Lucy’s got two way too quirky roommates. One of them’s got a weird boyfriend. Lucy’s boss (played by Bernadette Peters) is just as eccentric. Lucy’s got not one but two guys vying for her… well, kind of. Her thing is that she saves mementos from all her past relationships. And there are plenty of those. Why all these guys started dating her is a mystery. Why they ended things isn’t.
Lucy decides to start a gallery for her and everyone else’s items from past break-ups. They only thing more scattered than this plot synopsis is this film.
But before I go further, I need to point out the key, early scene that gets the entire “only in the movies” narrative rolling. Following another disastrous night Lucy mistakenly gets into the car of future love interested and business partner Nick (played by Dacre Montgomery). She thinks it’s her Uber. He repeatedly tells her it’s not. She ignores him because she’s so self-absorbed and gives him her address. So he drives her home. When they arrive, she finally realizes her mistake.
Uber murders are no laughing matter. The fact that Krinsky chose this “humorous” way to bring these two together is both lame and alarming.
There are gaping plot holes throughout — some scenes are actually missing. The constantly sarcastic, overwritten dialogue makes nearly every scene cringe-worthy. And this movie features more continuity errors within than any in recent memory. The editing deserves a Razzie. And yes, the most creative song Lucy and Nick can sing at Karaoke Night (yep, they do karaoke, what a surprise!) is “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”!
This is a film you watch from a distance. That’s because we’re in Fantasyland, where everything magically falls into place and everyone is a cutesy hipster with the perfect quip — and blah blah blah. The only thing Krinsky gets borderline right is the vibe of the time, mainly due to the H&M-esque soundtrack.
“The Broken Hearts Gallery” isn’t bad in a goofy sense (though it does have those moments). It’s one of the worst rom-coms I’ve seen in my 15-years as a film critic.