The Broken Hearts Gallery

Movie review by
Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
The Broken Hearts Gallery Movie Poster Image
Upbeat heroine anchors whimsical romcom; edgy sex jokes.
  • PG-13
  • 2020
  • 108 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Put your pain to positive use. Focus is on taking a healthy approach to romance: letting go of past relationships, realizing they allow us to grow, opening up to be available for a new one. Also emphasizes value of strong, supportive friendships, unconditional self-acceptance. Models the idea that successful relationships are based on communication and trust.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters don't always make the right decision, but they communicate with one another honestly and without pretense -- they represent what real friendship looks like. Diverse representation in terms of race, ethnicity, body type, sexual identity. Women are self-confident, successful, and (mostly) sure of themselves; female friends are supportive and loving.

Violence

Arguments.

Sex

Frank (though not especially graphic) talk about sex/sexual situations; clearly sex-positive perspective. One scene shows a couple lying in bed together after sex, covered to their armpits by sheets, mentioning plans to have sex again. Passionate kissing. Friends discuss masturbation. Sex toy and packaged condom shown. The film is about moving on after a relationship ends; a wide variety of couples discuss their relationships, all with equal weight.

Language

Strong language includes "ass," "bitch," "goddamn," "hell," "s--tty," and a joking insult: "d--kmonster." "Sweet Jesus!" is said as an exclamation. Some sexual slang, but body parts are properly identified as "breasts," "penis," "vagina." 

Consumerism

Brands mentioned as punchlines, including Halo video game, Uber, Lyft, and Listerine. Apple products with logo on display, implying potential product placement. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking in work, social, celebratory situations: tequila, whiskey, wine. Main character ignores a co-worker's warning not to drink too much at a work event (in an effort to gain courage), which results in negative consequences. A cigarette is shown as a prop, mentioned in a positive fashion. Smoking marijuana is mentioned as unattractive. Joke about dropping acid.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Broken Hearts Gallery is a romantic comedy executive-produced by Selena Gomez. It's edgy but not explicit, and it's completely in step with the way real young adults speak, behave, and interact. That includes some strong language ("bitch," "s--t," etc.), sex-positive attitudes, and jokes about drugs, drinking, and sex (one including a sex toy). As far as actual sex scenes, there's only one, and it takes place mostly after the fact, with the couple in question talking while covered by sheets. Characters drink frequently in social situations (mostly whiskey and wine), and the plot kicks into gear when lead character Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan) drinks too much at a work event after being warned by a co-worker to slow down. The film offers a wide range of diversity in its characters -- something that's too often been scarce in mainstream romcoms -- and focuses on taking a healthy approach to romance, promoting the value of communication and trust. It also emphasizes the value of strong, supportive friendships among women and models powerful self-acceptance.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysaidItoyou September 12, 2020
Teen, 16 years old Written byNadia Cloud September 20, 2020

Hilarious and original despite a few flaws.

The Broken Hearts Gallery is something original and entertaining. It is a great movie for those dealing with a break up. I recommend this for ages 13 and up bec... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byBryceDaSpice September 16, 2020

Fun Rom-Com has lots of sex talk.

I just went to the movies to see this movie and it was really great! Lots of positive messages about moving on and finding new love, friendship, and inspiration... Continue reading

What's the story?

Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan) is a romantic 26-year-old art gallery assistant who literally holds onto her past breakups: She stores and displays mementos left behind. On the same night that she loses her boyfriend and her job, Lucy meets Nick (Dacre Montgomery from Stranger Things) and is inspired to create THE BROKEN HEARTS GALLERY, a space dedicated to trinkets let go by the brokenhearted.

Is it any good?

This is a snappy, sensational romantic comedy with a wonderfully optimistic main character. The quirky premise about a young woman who physically can't let go of the past, stubbornly holding on to little items from her exes, is completely sold by Viswanathan. When we first meet Lucy, it's not under the best of circumstances: She's having trouble moving on after a breakup and isn't taking it well. But Viswanathan's magnetic personality lets us see the humanity behind Lucy's obsessiveness and absolutely fall in love with her: This is the friend you want by your side. Together with her sympathetic and protective friends Amanda (Molly Gordon) and Nadine (Phillipa Soo), they're an ideal trio -- together for the tough times while also lovingly calling each other out on their nonsense. 

Writer-director Natalie Krinsky looks like she could be that once-in-a-decade voice who captures her generation -- and her gender -- with smart, witty dialogue; she's stepping into the footprints left by Lena Dunham, Diablo Cody, and Nora Ephron. Her characters have an aspirational patter, but, at the same time, it's exactly how today's 20-somethings talk. With an irreverent, feminist self-awareness, expressed via barbs about patriarchal society and men who are baffled by how to respond to unwarranted accusations, it's all so of the moment. At times, some of the acting comes off a little weak -- likely the result of Krinsky being a first-time director -- but it's completely forgivable as she delivers a fantastically fun film. Like many love stories aimed at women, it's a female fantasy in many ways -- that our ideas are accepted, that our opinions are valued, that we're loved and accepted for who we are as we are -- but that's how we change the world, right? If life imitates art, Lucy's world is a nice place to live.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the positive representations in The Broken Hearts Gallery. How do the characters here compare to those you've seen in other Hollywood romcoms? Why is representation in the media important? 

  • How is drinking depicted? Does the film normalize or glamorize it? Do the characters face realistic consequences for their actions? Why does that matter?

  • In what ways do you think the film reflects real life, and in what ways is it a fantasy?

  • How is friendship depicted here? Is that typical for movies that portray female friendship? How do friends help you cope with the ups and downs of life? 

  • How do the characters show that they value open, honest communication? Why is that an important character strength?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romcoms

Character Strengths

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