The Broken Hearts Gallery: Neon NZ Film Review
There's nothing wrong with a good rom-com.
Although it's very easy to be very cynical about the familiar paths they follow and the story beats they hit.
However, The Broken Hearts Gallery has one secret weapon in its arsenal - its Australian star Geraldine Viswanathan.
Viswanathan is Lucy, a New York City- based relationship hoarder who keeps memorabilia from break ups and exes and who really has a problem moving on. As her friends politely put it early on, she's gone from sentimental to full-mental.
When wannabe gallery owner Lucy's dumped by her partner and sacked from her art job, she hits a funk.
But having met boutique hotel developer Dacre Montgomery's Nick by mistake and in a moment of genius, Lucy decides on an art gallery that showcases material from exes. That becomes a viral sensation, putting Lucy back on the up...
The Broken Hearts Gallery is a zingy, lively romcom that descends into the expected schmaltz and tropes of the genre in its final 20 minutes.
However, it soars in large parts because of its lead.
Viswanathan's unending energy, quirk and upbeat portrayal of Lucy is a star-in-the-making turn. It's hard to be cynical when confronted by her work in this, which builds greatly on the comedy she brought to Blockers and the drama she had in Bad Education.
Equally impressive is just how much diversity and empowerment there is in this film.
Sure, you can argue in large parts it fails the Bechedel Test, but quite frankly, who cares? Krinksy's commitment to female friendship, group mentality and mates is utterly winning. That's not to say supporting characters aren't underwritten either - there's a full roster of solid stand-alones who make the film what it is.
Ultimately, The Broken Hearts Gallery is a breezy film that offers much to the rom-com genre without massively subverting it. It will break your heart and leave your sides splitting too - it's a none-too-timely reminder that good comedies are rare beasts - and stars in waiting like Geraldine Viswanathan are all too rare, and excellent to watch.