Nila is a freelance journalist and Clinical Psychology Doctoral student…
“The Broken Hearts Gallery” starring Geraldine Vishwanathan and Dacre Montgomery is a sweet old school romantic comedy set in the super “woke” streets of New York City. The light-hearted film was funny, quirky, totally predictable, and though it lacked depth, I still would watch it again on a girl’s night.
The film was written and directed by Natalie Krinsky and executive produced by Selena Gomez. The duo hoped to bring some light, hope, and love to audiences during this pandemic to help people cope with their film. Krinsky took inspiration from her own life to develop the storyline. Though not credited, it seems Krinsky took inspiration from the real-life Broken Hearts Gallery, the Museum of Broken Relationships in Croatia. It’s a museum founded by Croatian film producer Olinka Vištica and sculptor, Dražen Grubišić featuring items left behind from broken relationships which include partners, friends, or children that have broken up or passed.
The film follows the lovable but dorky Lucy (Vishwanathan), an aspiring art gallery curator who is currently an assistant at the gallery run by her idol, Eva Woolf (Bernadette Peters). We soon find out Lucy is dating the dashing Max Vohra (Utkarsh Ambudkar) the director of the gallery. However, she has sort of a minor meltdown that goes viral when he shows up to the gallery’s latest event with his stunning ex-girlfriend. A heartbroken Lucy accidentally pops into Nick’s (Montgomery) car thinking it’s her Lyft ride and the adventure begins.
Here’s the deal, Lucy is a chronic hoarder. She literally holds onto random items, even trash, from every boyfriend and life event. The girl keeps everything from her destroyed Barbie and Polly pocket toys to doorknobs and unused condoms. Her friends push her to “let go” but she’s always struggled with throwing away all her trinkets since she was a teen. Lucy can’t seem to let go of anything, “I live in a cave of souvenirs like the little mermaid,” she quips at the start of the film. In an effort to clean the clutter after weeks of drowning in her sadness after Max breaks up with her, she heads out only to run into Nick again, and here is where the story snowballs into the inception of “The Broken Hearts Gallery” at Nick’s hotel. Lucy and Nick find a mutually beneficial work relationship as their friendship develops.
Here are 5 things to absolutely LOVE about this film:
Vishwanathan is literally the glowing highlight of this entire film. The Australian actress of South Asian descent is beautiful, dorky, and so relatable. Her acting is effortless and natural, Vishwanathan doesn’t just say lines, she acts with her entire being from her arched eyebrows to her dancing fingers. She is stunning and her smile literally lights up the screen. Vishwanathan brings Lucy to life, and the character is so real, every girl can find themselves in her. Vishwanathan’s acting will remind you of beloved award-winning actresses known for their romantic comedies like Katherine Heigl and Kate Hudson.
Diversity, Diversity, Diversity!
The film features diverse characters that range in various races, genders, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. From a South Asian female lead to a sexually promiscuous lesbian best friend, intelligent strong women of color, and a powerful boss babe not viewed as a “heartless bitch,” these characters are different. Let’s not forget that we have a sexy, suave South Asian man as the “hot guy.” Ambudkar makes the perfect dreamboat that will have women swooning.
Laugh out Loud Dialogues
The screenplay was well written with witty dialogues that will have you giggle if not laugh out loud. The dialogue helped ground the relationships between characters with realism. The easy flow and casual conversations were purposeful but had a natural progression as it does in real life.
One of my favorite things about this film is the growth of Lucy. In between the laughs and karaoke, Lucy gains insight into her own behaviors and how others treat her. She gains confidence in her own abilities and isn’t a mindless character constantly making mistakes. She’s able to see those red flags and change course as a normal person should.
Girl Gang Power
Lucy’s best friends and roommates are Nadine, a promiscuous, lesbian model, and Amanda, a dark, violence obsessed law student with a silent boyfriend Jeff. These three girls are three corners of a triangle but their love for each other is deep and unconditional. These girls tell each other like it is, support each other even when they know their girl is crazy, and are willing to make heads roll if any man or woman messes with their friends’ hearts. The quintessential girl gang that every girl needs for support.
Some Cons: “The Broken Hearts Gallery” is hyper-focused on the millennial generation and mainly features 25-35-year-old characters aside from Lucy’s mom played by Sheila McCarthy and renowned art gallery owner Eva Woolf played by the legend, Bernadette Peters. The lack of range in characters can make it unappealing for others that can’t relate. There are a lot of spaces that could have been explored further like Lucy’s passion for art, her relationship with her mother, Nick’s desire to be a hotelier, and the root of her fears and anxieties that lead to her hoarding behavior. The character’s challenges are easily overcome before we have had time to process feelings of losses. The disappointing aspect is that this film had the potential to dig deep and draw out real emotions along with laughs but it remains on a superficial level. Though set in New York City, sadly, the film lacks any recognizable New York City streets besides some generic b-roll of the city skyline—that’s what happens when you pretend New York City is in Canada kids. It’s just disappointing, especially to a New Yorker.
Overall, “The Broken Hearts Gallery” is a sweet girl’s night movie with talented actors, witty banter, an adorable cast you’ll fall in love with, and so much hopeful innocent love, it will have you recalling your favorite Rom-Com. A solid 3 out of 5, “The Broken Hearts Gallery” is worth the watch just to see the adorable Geraldine Vishwanathan rock it on the big screen.
Nila is a freelance journalist and Clinical Psychology Doctoral student who was born and raised in New York City. There is very little she loves more than Harry Potter marathons, pizza, 90s Bollywood, bagels, falooda, and her family. She hopes to use her powers for good by spreading mental health awareness and positivity in the South Asian community through her love of writing.