Updated: Sep 23
I was able to watch this film in the safety of my home thanks to getting an online screener link from the studio, a privilege many do not get. Considering the current coronavirus pandemic and the dangers it still presents, I do not endorse you returning to movie theaters at this time.
Natalie Krinsky's romantic comedy The Broken Hearts Gallery is a little old-fashioned. It follows the genre's formula closely. In this way, the film will be comfort food for fans of rom-coms, something that might feel good in these crazy times. Its lead is stuck in the past, holding onto old relationships and artifacts from them. However, thanks to some refreshing representation, the film isn't entirely stuck in the past. It also has enough character to stand apart from the recent Netflix rom-coms that seem written by an algorithm. Add on a charming lead performance by Geraldine Viswanathan and you get something that is going to make people happy.
Lucy Gulliver (Viswanathan) lives in Brooklyn and works at an elite gallery. She has a habit of fixating on past relationships, keeping mementos from each one. She has two supportive friends, Nadine (Philipa Soo) and Amanda (Molly Gordon). At the start of the film, Lucy is in a relationship with the handsome and wealthy Max (Utkarsh Ambudkar). Like any rom-com lead, she has a New York apartment that she could never afford in real life.
Her life is thrown into disarray when she learns that Max isn't on the same page about being exclusive and is dating a beautiful woman who only talks about Paris. She learns this as she is to introduce an opening at the gallery and ends up losing her job after creating a scene. Bernadette Peters plays her boss Eva Woolf. On her way home, she drunkenly gets into the car of Nick (Dacre Montgomery) mistaking it for her Uber. He is
kind and takes her home, a stretch for those familiar with Montgomery's role in Stranger Things.
The Broken Hearts Gallery is easy to plot out from here but to its advantage, it doesn't try to hide its predictability. Max is renovating a space he sees as a boutique hotel. The wall space makes a perfect spot for Lucy to build a museum to the unwanted artifacts people have from past relationships.
Viswanathan really shines as Lucy. She is self-deprecating but determined and it is easy to want to root for her. She grounds an otherwise fantastical plot. Krinsky is also able to sneak in a few real emotions even if the central relationship isn't always believable. Montgomery tries hard here but doesn't have the charisma for us to understand Lucy's feelings for him. Regardless, rom-com fans will be satisfied with this film.