The Broken Hearts Gallery
- Emma Simmonds
- 9 September 2020
Geraldine Viswanathan is on fire in this enjoyably empowered and idiosyncratic romcom
Proving that Netflix don't have the monopoly on Gen Y romcoms, Sony are launching their latest straight into cinemas and it's well worth checking out, looking pretty luscious on the big screen. The directorial debut of Natalie Krinsky – a writer on shows like Gossip Girl, Grey's Anatomy and 90210 – who also pens the wisecracking screenplay, The Broken Hearts Gallery matches an oversharing hoarder with a cards-close-to-his-chest minimalist in a classic odd couple romance peppered with welcome idiosyncrasy.
Rising star Geraldine Viswanathan (Blockers, Bad Education, Hala) bags a great role as Lucy, a 26-year-old gallery assistant and collector of various tat, particularly in relation to her exes, of which she has a few. When her most recent love affair – with Utkarsh Ambudkar's slippery Max – goes sideways, Lucy rebounds straight into a drunken meet-cute with Nick (Dacre Montgomery, last seen sporting an unforgettable mullet and being savaged by a beast in Stranger Things) when she mistakes his car for her cab and he drives her home anyway. Later helping him on his boutique hotel project, where she begins to curate other people's relationship keepsakes into the titular exhibition, love starts to blossom.
The Broken Hearts Gallery hits some familiar, though many would argue essential, romcom beats (re-emerging exes, easy-to-clear-up misunderstandings) but it's fuelled by empowered ideas and there's a smattering of political humour and ample self-awareness; it certainly seems smarter than most, with Krinsky emerging as an exciting, commercially viable voice. Lucy makes for an enjoyably gung-ho protagonist whose energy, positivity and haplessness – 'Making a fool of yourself is one of life's greatest pleasures,' she opines – are beautifully captured by a dynamic Viswanathan, delivering an expressive and confident comedic turn, complete with plenty of eyebrow action.
Montgomery (like Viswanathan, Australia-born) has charisma to near-match his co-star, albeit a dramatically less interesting role, while Molly Gordon and Phillipa Soo are hilarious as Lucy's have-your-back besties Amanda and Nadine, and there's a quality running joke regarding Amanda's silent boyfriend Jeff (Nathan Dales). The supporting cast is further bolstered by the likes of Bernadette Peters, Megan Ferguson and Arturo Castro. Super cute and snarky, if it doesn't offer anything radically new, The Broken Hearts Gallery should satisfy cynics and romantics alike.
Available to watch in cinemas from Fri 11 Sep.