After being dumped and losing her job as a gallery assistant all in one day, Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan) meets Nick (Dacre Montgomery). Her new friend has acquired a space he’s attempting to turn into a hotel, and Lucy comes up with an idea to turn it into a gallery in which to exhibit all the memorabilia she has collected from past relationships. She calls it ‘The Broken Hearts Gallery’ and soon finds that others want to contribute their trinkets too.
Featuring an impressive cast of up-and-coming young stars including Geraldine Viswanathan (‘Blockers’), Dacre Montgomery (‘Stranger Things’), Molly Gordon (‘Booksmart’) and Phillipa Soo (‘Hamilton’), Viswanathan is the indisputable star of the show. Her insecurities and open, bubbly nature make her loveable. Her overreactions and delivery of one liners demonstrate a natural, skilful knack for comedy. Opposite her, Montgomery comes off as a bit straight and bland, though still a charmer. The construction of their relationship is such that Viswanathan just shines all the more.
‘The Broken Hearts Gallery’ features all the clichés you can expect in the rom com genre and it wholeheartedly embraces that status. The opening scene sees a loved-up Lucy blast music and dance around her room; there’s the guy (Utkarsh Ambudkar) she starts off with, clearly isn’t meant to be with, but will likely make one last go with before the end; the “meet cute”; there’s a karaoke session; there are supportive girlfriends; there’s even a doing up the place montage. Natalie Krinsky, in her directorial debut, executes these tropes shamelessly and affectionately. Thus you can’t help but admire and find yourself taken along for the romp.
Moreover, some of the concepts explored in ‘The Broken Hearts Gallery’ are much smarter than you’d expect in “just another romantic comedy.” It explores the idea of “hoarding” (a dirty word Lucy hates to even use) and its connection to emotions deftly. The little scenes scattered throughout in which people rag on their exes prove funny and highly relatable, because everyone does go a little mad when it comes to matters of the heart.
There are several very sweet, very funny and memorable, quotable scenes. Lucy’s friends Amanda (Gordon) and Nadine (Soo) prove a dream as they comfort Lucy when she gets dumped, and later hilariously threaten the boys who’ve hurt her. While the film moves along, for the most part, at a swift pace, it does lose just a little momentum towards the end (a common problem for this genre). Still, romantic comedy fans, or even just consignees, are going to fall in love with ‘The Broken Hearts Gallery’. It’s the most this reviewer has smiled and laughed at a film in a long time.