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Review: The Broken Hearts Gallery

After a string of romantic dramedies best described as watchable but weak, along comes The Broken Hearts Gallery, a funny, smart and satisfying meet-cute that is – rather sadly – opening only in actual theaters. The movie puts a fresh spin on a tried and true formula with a pair of likeable leads in Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan, Blockers) and Nick (Dacre Montgomery, TV’s Stranger Things). Plus, a dash of Bernadette Peters!

The story takes place in New York City, where Lucy is a 20-something art gallery assistant and emotional hoarder. She stashes keepsakes from failed relationships, and her collection is about to grow. She gets dumped by her handsome and self-centered boyfriend Max (Utkarsh Ambudkar) and gets fired the same night. In a rather drunken and frazzled state, Lucy jumps into a car that she mistakes for a rideshare. Her baffled but obliging driver Nick gets her safely home to her apartment, where her quirky and supportive roommates Amanda (Molly Gordon, Booksmart) and Nadine (Phillipa Soo, Hamilton) can only watch as Lucy adds Max’s tie to her plastic bag of heartbreak.

The next day, Lucy runs into Nick yet again, and fate handles the rest. Nick lets Lucy in on his passion project, converting an old building into a hotel/bar, and he lets Lucy turn part of his unfinished lounge area into a pop-up space for items love has left behind. First on the wall: Max’s tie. Soon other items start to appear and word of mouth spreads on social media about the Broken Heart gallery – a safe space for the lovelorn to share their stories and put the past behind them. Lucy has sparked a movement.

Speaking of sparks, Lucy and Nick have them. Question is – can their love withstand a few complications and misunderstandings, or will space need to be made for another item on the makeshift gallery wall?

The Broken Hearts Gallery was written and directed by Natalie Krinsky (TV’s Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girl). The film marks her directorial debut and she handles the genre quite well, infusing a bit of ‘Sex And The City’ and ‘When Harry Met Sally’ vibes into the narrative. Aussie actors Viswanathan and Montgomery make Lucy and Nick a couple worth rooting for.

The whole cast is diverse and relatable (I’d want to hang out with most of these people) with a sincerity that even makes ‘the bad guys’ not so bad. The Broken Hearts Gallery has a few imperfections, but it brings charm and wit to a story that is – at its heart  – about relationships, romantic and platonic – and what we do when life throws us a few lemons. It’s an art form.

 

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