By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
While watching the new romantic comedy, “The Broken Hearts Gallery,”
I was hoping to hear among the film’s soundtrack Jimmy Ruffin’s classic Motown hit song, “What Becomes of The Brokenhearted.” It would have been a perfect fit, for this edgy movie, but it’s not in there.
Even so, that missed opportunity doesn’t prevent “The Broken Hearts Gallery” from being an enjoyable romp. Directed by Natalie Krinsky
(TV’s “Red Band Society” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” the film features a diverse cast and shows that love can come in all sorts of crazy colors, shapes and sizes. Emphasis on crazy.
Life was going so good for Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan, TV’s “BoJack Horseman” and “Miracle Workers”) until her boyfriend Max (Utkarsh Ambudkar, “Mulan” and TV’s “Mira, Royal Detective”) dumps her and then she loses her promising assistant job at an upstart New York gallery run by Bernadette Peters (TV’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”).
Drunk, mad and an absolute mess, Lucy hops into a car thinking it’s an Uber. She startles the driver Nick (a funny Dacre Montgomery, TV’s “Stranger Things”). When Nick tells Lucy he’s not an Uber driver she opens up about her day. Nick feels sorry for her and takes her home anyway.
Initially it’s not much of an attraction between Lucy and Nick and honestly, their chemistry throughout the movie almost up until the end just seemed kind of off. Not because of the interracial thing, but they just didn’t really vibe convincingly on the romantic front enough for me. Their budding friendship works better and doesn’t feel as forced.
Nick has poured his heart and soul into opening the Chloe Hotel, but he’s been turned down by banks for renovation loans. Now, he’s unsure if he can hang on to the place.
Lucy, much to the astonishment of her best friends, Amanda (a very funny Molly Gordon, “Good Boys” and “Booksmart”) and Nadine (Phillipa Soo, “Hamilton” and “The One and Only Ivan”), has a collection of all sorts of trinkets and items from boyfriends that she’s kept over the years. Lucy decides to start The Broken Heart Gallery, a pop-up space for the items love has left behind.
What are the odds that Lucy and Nick, put their minds and limited resources together and make a go of the Broken Heart Gallery? Quite good, actually.
When Lucy’s old crush, Max (Ambudkar) is dumped by his girlfriend, he tries to worm his way back into Lucy’s life, but by then Nick and Lucy are slowly getting their grooves back until a secret that Nick has kept from Lucy threatens to derail their hookup.
Except for Amanda’s reticent boyfriend Jeff (Nathan Dales, TV’s “Littlekenny”), everyone in the movie trades barbs and jokes fast and furiously. There’s a lot to unpack here, but even more to like about “The Broken Hearts Gallery.”
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Look At This Trailer For "THE BROKEN HEARTS GALLERY"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.