BLU-RAY REVIEW / FRAME SHOTS
Geraldine Viswanathan plays the witty Lucy and Dacre Montgomery as Nick, a dreamer who’s converting a ramshackle building into a chic hotel.
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“THE BROKEN HEARTS GALLERY”
Blu-ray and Digital copy; 2020; PG-13 for sexual content throughout and some crude references, strong language, and drug references; Streaming via Amazon Prime Video, Apple, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Movie Anywhere, Vudu, YouTube
Best extra: Two-and-a-half-minute gag reel
WE ALL remember our first loves. Some of us even married them. Equally as emotional albeit on the other end of the romantic spectrum, we also remember the ones who broke our hearts. That is why “The Broken Hearts Gallery” resonates universally for people who have picked up the pieces of a shattered heart and maybe, just maybe, kept a memento to remember the schmuck or schmuckette who trampled on it.
“The Broken Hearts Gallery” was one of the first major films to get a theatrical release in the middle of COVID-19. Australian actress Geraldine Viswanathan plays Lucy, who’s had her share of breakups during her 26 years on earth. A look in her bedroom gives a hint on how many – she keeps a token from each. But in adulthood, she feels like she’s finally met the one until he abandons her for an ex who has popped back into town from Paris. This sets off a series of happenings that allows her to not only find her calling as an artist, but to discover her soul mate along the way.
The best thing about “Broken Hearts” are the characters and their interactions. Viswanathan as “Unlucky in Love” Lucy is likable and funny with impeccable timing. Her besties and roommates, Amanda (Molly Gordon) and Nadine (Phillipa Soo) help Lucy through the rough times and they encourage her to get rid of the past, literally and figuratively. The vehicle that allows Lucy to be free from the chains of relationships past is a gallery for people to heal their hurts by dropping off souvenirs that have negative mojo linked to them. Lucy’s cohort in the gallery is Nick (Dacre Montgomery, “Stranger Things”), who is refurbishing an old hotel that he calls “Chloe” after an old girlfriend.
(1&2) “The Broken Hearts Gallery” opens with a flashback, as Lucy talks about her breakups and mementoes she’s saved from each, with her best friends Nadine (Phillipa Soo) and Amanda (Molly Gordon). (3) Now she’s in a relationship with her suave supervisor Max Vora (Utkarsh Ambudkar) at the New York Woolf Gallery.
While “The Broken Hearts Gallery” is as predictable as Monday following Sunday, it still offers authentic moments of comedy mixed perfectly with sentimentality. They don’t call them “rom-coms” for nothing.
The American-Canadian production is from writer Natalie Krinsky, also in her directorial debut. She wrote the first draft a decade ago, after a breakup with her boyfriend and getting fired from her job. She recruited cinematographer Alar Kivilo (“The Blind Side”) to provide the rich photography filmed mostly in Toronto subbing for New York City. They decided upon the Arri Alex Mini digital camera, with an odd 2.00:1 aspect ratio. Most of Lucy’s scenes are bathed in saturated warm tones and the NYC art gallery on the cooler side. Overall sharpness is very good sourced from a 2K master, with no 4K Ultra HD release on disc or digital.
The six-channel DTS-HD Master soundtrack is nicely balanced with dialogue front and center and sprinkled effects and music to the front and rear speakers. Composer Genevieve Vincent provides an electronic score, and a number of pop tunes are included throughout, but strangely none from Selena Gomez, who happens to be one of the film’s executive producers.
(1&2) Max’s ex-girlfriend arrives from Paris, and jealous Lucy has too much to drink and has a meltdown. (3&4) She mistakenly hops into Nick’s Prius thinking it’s a Lyft ride.
Don’t get too jazzed up about bonus features. This Blu-ray and digital release contain a short gag reel and a pair of less-than-a-minute each character-focused vignettes, one on Nick, one on Lucy. Neither has any substance.
Start 2021 off right and, after you’ve finished watching the movie, go throw away any trinkets you’ve kept to memorialize an ex. You can thank Lucy and Nick for the impetus.
— Toni Guagenti
(1) Amanda and Nadine console Lucy after she’s lost her boyfriend and job in one night. (2) Lucy and Nick share a moment when Lucy pins a tie, a relationship memento, to a board at Nick’s under-construction hotel. (3) Lucy revels in the relationship mementoes that people drop off to be used in the Broken Heart Gallery. (4) Ice cream makes everything better with friends Lucy and Nick, but are they just friends? (5) Karaoke singing during Amanda’s birthday bash.
(1) Lucy introduces Nick to her mom, who has dementia. (2) Lucy sets up the final touches for the gallery’s grand opening. (3&4) Lucy’s besties at the grand opening, but where’s Nick?