September 18, 2020

‘The Broken Hearts Gallery’ exhibits all the charming aesthetics of a rom-com

This image released by Sony -TriStar Pictures shows Phillipa Soo, from left, Geraldine Viswanathan and Molly Gordon in a scene from “The Broken Hearts Gallery.” (George Kraychyk/Sony-TriStar Pictures via AP) ORG XMIT: NYET119

Nadine (Phillipa Soo, from left), Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Amanda (Molly Gordon) are best friends and roommates in the rom-com “The Broken Hearts Gallery.” | Sony-TriStar Pictures/AP

Writer-director Natalie Krinsky invites us to leave plausibility at the door and enjoy unabashedly sentimental, escapist comfort viewing.

In the 2019 meta charmer “Isn’t It Romantic,” Rebel Wilson’s Natalie is a cynic who despises rom-coms. But after Natalie is knocked unconscious, she awakens in a fantasy world straight out of a romantic comedy, from meet-cutes to an obligatory karaoke scene to our heroine learning what you’ve been looking for your whole life… HAS BEEN RIGHT BY YOUR SIDE ALL ALONG.

Why are we discussing “Isn’t It Romantic” in a review of “The Broken Hearts Gallery”? Well, my fine friend, it’s because the characters in “Gallery” live just around the corner — or more accurately, across the Brooklyn Bridge — from the world of “Romantic.”

“Broken Hearts Gallery” doesn’t employ the conceit of a “Wizard of Oz”-like dream sequence ala “Isn’t It Romantic,” but it embraces just as many rom-com staples in equally self-aware fashion, inviting us to leave plausibility at the door and enjoy unabashedly sentimental, escapist comfort viewing from first-time writer/director Natalie Krinsky, who displays a fine ear for witty dialogue, with the characters often sounding as if they’re in a next-generation reboot of “Sex and the City.”

Geraldine Viswanathan, fresh off her scene-stealing turn as the intrepid high school newspaper reporter in “Bad Education,” gives a knockout performance as Lucy Gulliver, a 26-year-old art gallery assistant who tells her roommates Nadine (Phillipa Soo) and Amanda (Molly Gordon) she’s found true love with Max (Utkarsh Ambudkar), who’s about a decade older and kind of her mentor and is so grown up he actually cooked her dinner with items from his refrigerator. As Lucy heads off into the day, Nadine says, “She seems so happy.”

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Sony-TriStar Pictures/AP
Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan) finds herself attracted to aspiring hotelier Nick (Dacre Montgomery) in a scene from “The Broken Hearts Gallery.”

Cut to that night, with Lucy looking dazed and devastated after she was dumped by Max and fired from her job in rapid succession. Lucy climbs into the backseat of her Lyft ride and pours her heart out to the driver, who as it turns out isn’t a Lyft driver but a guy named Nick (Dacre Montgomery from “Stranger Things”), who just happened to pull up at the moment Lucy was expecting her ride. (What a cute way for them to meet!)

When Lucy enters the apartment and tells Nadine and Amanda she’s been dumped, they spring into choreographed comfort mode, draping a blanket around Lucy and giving her chips and dip and wine and a DVD copy of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” But despite their best efforts, Lucy holes up in her bedroom for …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times


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