Much like the horror genre, romantic comedies are another I have always had a bumpy relationship with. If you see too many of them, you begin to predict exactly what type of movie it will be and how the story will unfold. It usually consists of something boring or just downright annoying. In the case of “Broken Hearts Gallery,” the reason this one works is due to the charming performances. The story follows a young woman named Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan) who, after a break-up, decides to open a gallery for people who have had their hearts broken. This includes people bringing in an array of items that remind them of their heartbreak. While that may sound eclectic and original, trust me when I say you have seen this one before.
The story beats are not original and it leans into just about every single cliche you can think of. From the moment the credits start, as soon as you meet these characters you immediately know two things. You will know what exactly happens to each and every character in this story. Add that into supporting characters that fill specific purposes (the friend who is always with someone, the snarky comeback person) and you can even predict character arcs. If that does not sound like your cup of tea, then this one isn’t going to convince you of anything different. Thankfully here, with a cast of talented actors and a script that allows great moments of improvement, this one’s a delight. Though I will say that this is one that shouldn’t send you to the theaters.
Before I get into what I genuinely enjoyed about this movie, I want to stress something very important. Now is not the time to be going to the movie theaters, not for this film or any. Even if we were not in this crazy time, this makes a perfect rental. This cast is so brilliant and allows an accomplished group of young actors to really show their skills. You’ve seen Viswanathan stealing performances in such films like “Blockers” or “Bad Education” and she delivers here. In being in the role of the classic “heroine” she plays the character of Lucy with realism and wit that is incredibly appealing. Then add in Dacre Montgomery as the leading man and he’s also given room to play. Like Viswanathan, he plays the role of Billy as a real person trying to be a millennial in this expensive age.
Look, would I be lying if I said this film wasn’t residing in a magical New York where nothing goes wrong? Absolutely not. This world where characters get everything they want is definitely a fantasy, but it’s so delightful to watch. Even with the supporting cast filled with actors you may not know by name (but trust me, you’ve seen them), I was consistently laughing. That in large part is due to the script by writer/director Natalie Krinsky. While this is her first director credit, what she accomplishes here is a tough feat. She makes a film that really lets these actors go for moments of broad and funny comedy (I’m looking at you “Unpregnant”) and it pays off. If you’re willing to go with it, there’s a lot of fun you can have with the structure of this type of story.
When you are at home on your couch (maybe with you significant other) a film like this is just the ticket. Not only are their laughs, but there is a likability amongst this group of talented actors. Both lead significant friend groups which include actors like Phillipa Soo, Mollie Gordon and Arturo Castro and they are all given a moment. Some of the biggest laughs for me actually came from a karaoke sequence involving the entire cast that had me in absolute stitches. Seeing likable stars hang out together even if the story is safe, makes for a mellow experience.
What “Broken Hearts Gallery” lacks in plot, it makes up for with endless amounts of heart and occasional humor. Sometimes, it's nice to watch something that will just make you feel cozy and that’s what this one did for me. It’s not a perfect movie by any means, but the appeal here really relies on the knowingness of everyone involved. Everyone is in on the type of movie they want to make and they really stick the landing. On a rainy Friday night, a movie like this is absolutely perfect. It’s warm and cozy and I guarantee you’ll be smiling when the credits roll.