The Broken Hearts Gallery – Review

Cert – 12, Run-time – 1 hour 48 minutes, Director – Natalie Krinsky

A young woman (Geraldine Viswanathan) starts up a gallery for people to dispose of items leftover from previous relationships

During the opening credits of Natalie Krinsky’s directorial feature debut the streets of New York are filled with the towering figures of a variety of objects in statue-like form. Some of them actually seem to be statues others are enlarged everyday items such as watches. There’s no real explanation for their presence, much like the hoarded objects that gallery assistant Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan) allows to linger in her flat. Each one a memory of a past relationship. The latest one a tie from her boyfriend Max (Utkarsh Ambudkar) who she breaks up with at the start of the film when it turns out that their relationship isn’t as serious and exclusive as she thought.

It’s not long until, after a couple of chance encounters, Lucy meets Nick (Dacre Montgomery), a young man aspiring to build and open his own hotel – alongside his friend Marcos (Arturo Castro). When Nick encourages Lucy to leave her ex’s tie on a wall in the shabby walls of what will hopefully one day become his business, allowing her to get rid of the heartbreak, Lucy comes up with an idea for a gallery. A place where people can leave and donate the leftover items from past relationships and hopefully resolves some lingering upset. Throughout the film there are brief interview-style clips of minor characters talking to camera holding specific items and talking about the relationship memories that they bring, a number of which manage to raise a mild chuckle.

This certainly isn’t your standard rom-com, it does feel different in terms of style and overall feeling. There doesn’t seem to be a formulaic feel and you actually quite like the characters, leading to a couple of effective laughs every now and then that just bring you to like the characters even more. This isn’t a rom-com that feels lazy and seems to say ‘these people are young and attractive – you will like them’. You actually do find yourself enjoying the company of these figures as they try to just make their dreams come true through their hope and creativity. Bring into the mix an equally entertaining supporting cast, including Molly Gordon and Phillipa Soo as Amanda and Nadine, Lucy’s deeply supportive flatmates, alongside Amanda’s silent boyfriend Jeff (Nathan Dales), who can raise a laugh with a small smile in response to a cue line.

You feel the connection between each character, and the antagonism that some feel for others, such as Lucy initially feels for Max after their break-up. But when it comes to the friendships that are present they feel genuine, adding to the level of friendly engagement you have with the piece. The bond between Lucy and Nick never feels forced, they’re friends, they know that and the film knows that and by not adding pressure to anything or making things obvious the film feels even more relaxed. It’s an uncomplicated engaging feature that brings you in to a bright, inventive world full of people who also match that description. And as the gallery begins to take off and the plot as takes form the film still admirably remembers such characters and instead of being a standard cliché modern rom-com it gives something more, and a fair deal better. It gives something enjoyable, with likeable characters who actually have individual personalities, who do good things and you want to see them succeed; and also doesn’t forget to throw in the odd laugh either. It’s light, enjoyable and engaging fun, not just down to the performances but also Natalie Krinsky’s screenplay and direction.

Taking a step away from the standard modern rom-com The Broken Hearts Gallery invites you in for a relaxed, enjoyable time with characters who feel genuine and you want to spend the duration of the run-time with.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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