13 September 2020 (released)
During these stressful and confusing times, we sometimes just need an uplifting film to give us an escape for a couple of hours. If you're in need of a little pick-me-up, The Broken Hearts Gallery is for you.
Natalie Krinsky's directorial debut follows Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan), an art gallery assistant who is considered a hoarder by many because she collects souvenirs - which look like worthless clutter - to remember events and past relationships.
One night she is fired from her job and dumped by Max (Utkarsh Ambudkar), and she accidentally gets into Nick (Dacre Montgomery)'s car, drunkenly mistaking it for her Uber, and a firm friendship is born. She helps him complete work on his new hotel and in exchange he offers her space in it to create a pop-up gallery of her mementoes - The Broken Hearts Gallery.
Viswanathan, who gained notice with her hilarious performance in 2018's Blockers, is the best thing about this movie. Krinsky has created a realistic sex-positive, alcohol-drinking messy lead who makes mistakes and Viswanathan injects so much life into the role. She elevates simple lines or scenes with her unique personality, quirks, mannerisms, and line delivery, and makes the film funnier than it is on the page by putting her distinct stamp on the character. Her energy and enthusiasm really sell the movie and will likely make viewers laugh and smile.
She has great support too, with her two housemates and best friends Amanda (Molly Gordon) and Nadine (Hamilton's Phillipa Soo) also having very distinctive personalities. Amanda is dark, pessimistic, obsessed with death, and has a silent boyfriend named Jeff (Nathan Dales), while Nadine is a gorgeous heartbreaker who has been with "more Russian supermodels than a tech billionaire". The dynamic between this trio was enjoyable to watch and some of their conversations were so well written and genuinely hilarious.
Montgomery is best known for playing the nasty Billy in Stranger Things so it was refreshing to see him play a nice guy. He didn't have as much personality as the girls but he has that brooding look which makes him a perfect romcom lead.
Most romcoms are predictable and The Broken Hearts Gallery is no different. However, Krinsky tries hard to steer the film away from cheesy stereotypes, a feat she achieves until the end. But she deserves praise for her superb writing and character creation as well as the subplot about Lucy's mother, which makes the film feel less fluffy and lightweight.
The Broken Hearts Gallery is uplifting and heart-warming; if you want a movie which will put you in a good mood and leave you with a smile on your face, this is for you.