Warning: This article contains spoilers for the movie, The Broken Hearts Gallery.
Attention rom-com lovers, The Broken Hearts Gallery made its theatrical debut on Friday, despite the coronavirus pandemic bringing movie productions to a grinding halt. The film screams modern romance, uniting audiences through relatable characters and universal themes of love, heartbreak and self-worth.
The Broken Hearts Gallery follows Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan), an art gallery assistant, as she attempts to navigate a fresh breakup and job loss in New York City. When it comes to heartbreak, Lucy is no stranger, as proven by her room full of mementos from past relationships.
Early in the film, Lucy struggled between holding on to memories of the past and letting go of the items that hold her back from starting fresh, which left her wondering, “when love crumbles, how do you preserve its ruins?”
After a day of attempting to get rid of her relationship keepsakes, she ran into Nick (Dacre Montgomery), an aspiring hotel owner. The pair started the Broken Hearts Gallery in the lounge of Nick’s unfinished hotel, which led to their partnership. Together, they helped each other reach their career goals, all while simultaneously falling in love.
Throughout the film, Lucy goes from pining for her handsome art gallery director ex, Max (Utkarsh Ambudkar), to realizing what her love life was missing with Nick. While the movie may be focused on those relationships, Lucy’s journey with both men showcases her personal growth with self-love.
And that’s not to say she didn’t love who she was. Lucy learned that she could never grow if she never moved on. And thus, the Broken Hearts Gallery was born as an expression of her and others’ heartbreak and sadness.
“She [Lucy] has anxieties and things that she needs to overcome, and her foibles, and all of that, but she is a character who is confident and who is asking the world to love her, not despite the fact that she is weird but because she is weird,” writer-director Natalie Krinsky said. “I think that that’s really important for young women to see, that, you know, you get to be absolutely yourself, and you don’t need to twist yourself into any strange box to be loved.”
Viswanathan brought a natural hilarity and relatableness to Lucy that’s hard to come by. Lucy’s silly mannerisms couldn’t be brought to life better by anyone. Viswanathan portrayed Lucy’s quirky awkwardness in a way that never seemed forced or scripted.
“She [Viswanathan] is awesome, and she is so quick. You can see every woman in Lucy,” executive producer Selena Gomez said in an introduction to the film.
For Krinsky’s first time directing, she brought Lucy’s story alive beautifully, not to mention everyone else’s heartbreak stories that are sprinkled throughout the movie. And who better to direct the screenplay than the writer of that screenplay?
Krinsky wrote The Broken Hearts Gallery when she was going through her own breakup and job loss. Now married with two children — one of whom she gave birth to five days before the film’s release — Krinsky finally pushed what she calls “her longest relationship” into the limelight.
“I’ve been with this script longer than I’ve been with my husband,” Krinsky said. “There is no one who would be more dedicated to this script and to this film.”
With an extremely talented cast, beautiful sets and a relatable story, The Broken Hearts Gallery is the ultimate rom-com. You won’t be able to stop yourself from laughing, crying and hoping for your own romantic, grand gesture.
Watch The Broken Hearts Gallery in theaters near you.