These familiar characters come together for one funny and good-natured romcom.
“The Broken Hearts Gallery” is a romantic comedy that basically has the goofy tone of a Disney Channel or Nickelodeon show from the 2000s and a sitcom from the 90s. When it wants to be serious, it ends up being ticklish, and when situations pop up, there always have to be funny faces. And this is honestly hilarious.
A running gag, for example, is when the main heroine Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan) is accused of being a hoarder, because she holds possessions from her previous relationships. No really, she pretty much has everything from every moment of her love story.
We meet her as a young New Yorker and art gallery curator, who just got out of a bad break-up with her boyfriend and co-worker Max (Utkarsh Ambudkar), and has been fired from her job. As much as her friends (Molly Gordon and Phillipa Soo) are supportive of her, they scold her for wallowing in her own filth of odor and old possessions. Now, this feels like “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”
On the night of her drama, she hops into a car, which she thinks is her Uber ride, and tells the driver Nick (Dacre Montgomery from “Power Rangers” and “Stranger Things”) about her turmoil. He, too, has trouble going on in his life. With the help of his married friend Marcos (Arturo Castro), he plans to turn an old YMCA into a hotel, which isn’t starting off well. Matter of fact, it’s practically a dump.
A light bulb appears on Lucy’s head, as she decides to open up a Broken Hearts art gallery. This one would allow heartbroken characters to put their prized romantic possessions on display. She agrees to help Nick with the hotel in exchange for gallery space. These two begin to connect, as their respective plans emerge.
“The Broken Hearts Gallery” does lag in certain sections of the movie, like some obligatory drinking and partying scenes, but it does have a strong sense of humor and sincerely touching moments. It’s the directorial debut of Natalie Krinsky, who provides silly characters we seen in various comedies, and splices them together with a certain amount of empathy.
Viswanathan mostly provides the laughs and spirit when her character Lucy tries so hard to get out of situations and how she learns to adapt to her surroundings. Montgomery delivers a strong sensibility, and provides chemistry with her. Ambudkar breaks tradition from the guy-who-breaks-up-with-her rules, and adds a fresh touch to his character. Gordon, Soo, and Nathan Dales (as their mute friend) all support the main heroine in their own silly and well-meaning ways. And Bernadette Peter tickles you with how she portrays Lucy’s art gallery boss as a nutty visionary, who makes jokes about Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender, respectively.
I laughed most of the way through “The Broken Hearts Gallery,” while in various parts, I managed to find its consideration and passion. I was nearly reminded of how Amy Schumer delivered a similar tone in “I Feel Pretty.” Both these movies are goofy and charming at the same time, and I endorse them in these notions.