We all know heartbreak is never an easy emotion to stomach let alone live through (hell, I’ve just gone through that) but I appreciate the people who use that same heartbreak to find their purpose in life and better the lives of others who may or may not have been through the same. That being said, “The Broken Hearts Gallery” directs that very emotion into a nifty premise and effort that ultimately pays off, rivaling Palm Springs as my feel-good film of the year. While a little too glossy for my tastes, it tries and mostly succeeds in finding catharsis in heartbreak, overflowing with the kind of charm and personality a feel-good rom-com is supposed to do for you.
First time writer-director Natalie Krinsky has her visual filmmaking modeled under a texture and originality that blends the sometimes comforting shine and glamour of a big-studio comedy with the golden lighting and unique framing of something along the lines of an indie film. Since the film is inspired by a personal breakup of her own, it makes sense that her writing packs a little earnestness, wit and wry despite checking off a number of rom-com requirements. The atmosphere feels fresh and breathable enough for a grounded yet familiar tale, I laughed a lot more than I was expecting to....to a fault, Geraldine Viswanathan and Dacre Montgomery steal the show as their respective characters, showing massive range in both moments that required sharp comedic and dramatic timing, the rest of the acting was pretty stellar, musical score was alright, the rich cinematography and editing posed no such issue when merged back to back with the lush production design and when you break the story down, it’s difficult to find one single aspect regarding its message and the execution of said message that’s not easy to love.
What holds me back from giving this a higher score is the lack of specific narrative details that could’ve enhanced a character’s arc or motivations and the typical, trite and overplayed third act break-up that sort of plays along with how formulaic other elements of the story were. But as annoying as that was, similar to Palm Springs, it didn’t ruin the rest of the experience for me. I do believe this movie is a good blend of light-hearted fun and seriousness as a celebration of vulnerability, never trying to fight against itself because it has confidence in its delivery and if it wasn’t for Geraldine and Dacre’s display of versatility, chemistry and bubbly charisma, the film wouldn’t have worked nearly as well as it did.