The Beach House (2020) | SHUDDER
The Broken Hearts Gallery caught me by surprise. The trailer for the film didn’t make me too interested in shelling out the price of admission, so I was certainly curious if this film would be any good. Soon after pressing play, the film won me over with stellar characters, wonderful chemistry, and just an overall heartfelt experience that left me wanting even more time to see how this love story progresses.
The Broken Hearts Gallery is Natalie Krinsky’s directorial debut, and that astounds me. This film floored me with its expert attention to the characters and the places our characters reside in every scene. This felt as though it would have been filmed by a director that’s been in the industry for decades, perfecting their craft. There’s something magical about having a well crafted romantic comedy come out of nowhere and match the levels of charm brought to us by the classic rom-coms that have been ingrained into our mind. The film is vibrant and oozing with allure as it absorbs you into the relationship statuses of all of our characters.
The plot follows Lucy, a woman who has a distinct background in art galleries and a lack of background with every guy she’s ever dated. She decides, before they even truly begin, to collect a piece of her relationship to forever preserve the memory of having one in the first place. In comes Nick, a mistaken Uber/Lyft driver that’s actually a passionate hotel entrepreneur, hoping to create a unique and tasteful hotel experience at the heart of NYC. Suddenly becoming entangled in each other’s lives, the two decide to work together and slowly build their friendship over the course of several months as they build both the hotel and a carefully curated gallery of people’s broken hearts. Similarly, the story presented is carefully curated to make for a heartfelt, charming experience that makes you long for more of these characters’ potential love story.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
Apart from the few throw away characters, namely the exes of both parties, every character has a key role to play and are written in such a way that you understand where they’re coming from when they take action. Of course we have the dynamite chemistry between Geraldine Viswanathan (Lucy) and Dacre Montgomery (Nick) that propels the story forward. Without their fluent emotions, conversations, and interactions, the film would have suffered enormously, becoming just another interchangeable romantic comedy. The Broken Hearts Gallery is justifiable proof that we need more Geraldine Viswanathan (Blockers) and Dacre Montgomery (Stranger Things) in our lives. The supporting characters are surprisingly just as dynamic and simulate real friendships; not appearing tacked on in the slightest, with these bonds coming across airtight.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
'The Broken Hearts Gallery' Caught Me By Surprise
For a first time director, the shots and cinematography captured by Alar Kivilo help display the story she is trying to tell in a powerful way. She captures the essence of the city while keeping us contained within the perimeters of our central characters and never letting us leave. Outsiders come to them, it’s not the other way around. One scene in particular, featuring the couch from the film’s poster, was an excellent choice to display that exact fact; this is their story, and everyone else is just living in it.
The Broken Hearts Gallery (2020) | In Cinemas
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
If I had to narrow down the weakest element of the film, it would be the score, but not by a substantial amount. I just didn’t feel the heart that the film was trying to convey in some scenes, although that’s not to say (Insert Composer Name) didn’t deliver in any capacity, because they certainly delivered some fantastic moments throughout. Heightening the emotional draw in most scenes, while leaving us emotionless in others. The use of the Billie Eilish’s “Everything I Wanted” felt out of place and shoved into the film just to have a popular song be present, which was a missed opportunity to bring attention to a song that better fit the scenario.
The Broken Hearts Gallery filled my heart with immense joy, and while it did occasionally dive into some of the usual romantic comedy tropes, the chemistry present abolished any concern of an unsatisfying experience due to its occasional predictability. With a runtime nearing two hours, the film uses its time wisely and helps us fully invest into these characters, along with the relationships they are trying to build. The Broken Hearts Gallery comes with an important message, and that’s to move forward from a broken past in order to truly pursue something greater - true love.