Movie Review: The Broken Hearts Gallery
Whilst it wasn’t the year we’d hoped for, 2020 did pave the way for new filmmakers looking to break through the usual deluge of content. It allowed independent artists and creatives to bubble up to the surface, especially since we were so starved of content elsewhere. The Broken Hearts Gallery, from freshman film director Natalie Krinsky, is one of few examples showcasing the independent filmmaking scene far exceeding that of major studio projects. Following a young gallery assistant with her heart set on moving on, The Broken Hearts Gallery details one woman putting her previous relationships to rest with an art exhibit detailing her mementoes intended to help those suffering from that same heartbreak.
Likeable characters make for somewhat enjoyable moments. That’s all The Broken Hearts Gallery can rely on though. Regaling us with past romances, these sudden yet expected extended flashbacks become rather boring. Straddling rather banal and anticipated lines of dialogue and the occasional dud note, Krinsky’s piece tries rather hard to include as many people as it can in its humour. You can never have everyone included in comedy; it leads to generalisations that’ll appeal to masses. The Broken Hearts Gallery avoids some of this with earnest intentions, detailing the comforts we cling to when going through the hard times. Wine and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is the vice of Lucy Gulliver (Geraldine Viswanathan). Mine are vodka and Annie Hall, so maybe there are shades of similarity between myself and this somewhat solid film.
It’s not hilarious, that much is a given. Some chuckles here or there, but you’ll probably not have tears in your eyes from the whip-smart writing. Happenstance meetings and bump-ins form the base of this romcom. Gulliver and Nick (Darce Montgomery) have the odd shimmering moment of romance, but well over an hour into the film and those sparks are yet to fly. The Broken Hearts Gallery does play with this concept well, that we’re more comfortable in territory we already know, which is probably why our characters come full circle somewhat, returning to the faux happiness they held in the early moments. But we can hardly call it progression if we go nowhere at all. Staggering toward the end eventually, it’s inevitable where this story is going, and arriving at this final moment of clarity is nice, but no real surprise.
A cute bit of film that showcases that, at some point in our life, we must move on from the bad breakup. The sudden goodbyes or the agonizingly lengthy farewells are there for their good reasons, but, as this film likes to remind us, there’s no harm in remembering those good times, coated in a sad longing. Krinsky’s work on The Broken Hearts Gallery is light and a bit inspiring at times, a cosy watch to say the least. Broad assumptions and general cliché make up the foundations of this piece, rigidly sticking to its three-act structure, but sometimes a bit of predictability isn’t just harmless, but it can be good fun too.