“You’re basically an anthropologist,” a disconsolate Lucy’s friends reassure her as she sits surrounded by the bric-a-brac of a recently fractured relationship. Played by rising star Geraldine Viswanathan, the protagonist of The Broken Hearts Gallery has trouble letting go – literally – of things, her surroundings a palimpsest of keepsakes from failed romances. After a particularly gut punching break-up-and-sacking double whammy, Lucy determines to take control of her story, offering to help new meet-cute acquaintance Nick (Dacre Montgomery) renovate his dream hotel in exchange for gallery space to exhibit other people’s heartache memorabilia.

There is nothing strikingly original about writer-director Natalie Krinsky’s debut feature, yet her ability to hit all the standard rom-com beats with charm is no mean feat. Due in large part to a sparkling cast – led by Viswanathan and Montgomery, and rounded off by memorable turns from Molly Gordon, Phillipa Soo, and Utkarsh Ambudkar – their palpable chemistry, emotional depth, and pitch perfect comic timing smooth over the few awkward jokes that don’t land, while Krinsky’s sensitive, fresh direction elevates The Broken Hearts Gallery to its genre’s renaissance heights.

Despite its sharp, cynical veneer, there is a real sweetness to the proceedings, evidenced by Lucy’s devoted relationship with her best friends and Nick’s emotional vulnerability and genuine delight in Lucy’s successes. This is the best kind of romantic comedy, which understands the imperfect hope implicit in love, and revels in giving its characters a chance at its messy happiness.

Although there are a few first date slip-ups in Krinsky’s directorial debut, The Broken Hearts Gallery is a generous and empathetic exploration of the memories that hold power over us, and the ways in which we can shape our own narratives. Brought to life by Viswanathan and Montgomery’s screwball, slow-burn romance, this is a romantic comedy to treasure.



CAST: Geraldine Viswanathan, Dacre Montgomery, Molly Gordon, Phillipa Soo, Utkarsh Ambudkar

DIRECTOR: Natalie Krinsky

WRITER: Natalie Krinsky

SYNOPSIS: A heartbroken young woman resolves to create a gallery of break up objects with the help of a charming stranger she has just met.