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Alex Reynolds Reviews the Broken Hearts Gallery

Alex Reynolds Reviews the Broken Hearts Gallery

The title suggests, and distinctly hints, at a number of romantic situations. Another “chick-flick”? Well, yes and no. The film lines out as a romcom with bittersweet interpolation. Lucy, an art gallery assistant, assembles an exhibit for souvenirs from past romantic relationships (emotional hoarder of heartbreak memorabilia?) after being dumped by her boyfriend. In a one-two punch, her boss not only ended their relationship, but fired her as well. She now feels a kinship to Joe Btfsplk, the sad sack character in the comic strip “Li’l Abner” who’s burdened with a perpetual rain cloud over his head.

Memories of failed affairs and the things that remind Lucy of them begin to fade with the encouragement of her gal buddies who push Lucy into reality. A chance meeting with a

a cynical, aspiring hotel owner who’s amused by Lucy’s idea, inspires a solution. Nick suggests Lucy set up The Broken Heart Gallery in the unfurnished lounge of his hotel.

The screenplay is by Natalie Krinsky, who also debuts as a director, making it a personal artistic endeavor. Krinsky, who has had creative input on tv series “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Gossip Girl” points out, “This story is about what we do with pain, what we do with heartbreak.” She continues, “It needs to say something about the way that we love each other and the way that we experience connections with other people whether they be romantic or platonic relationships.”

Krinsky describes her film as a funny love story rather than the usual ‘rom-com’ designation, because, “Optimistically, you need to root for two people to end up together. Or, if you’re super modern maybe three people to end up together.” Producer David Gross adds, “Obviously, heart, emotion, and then it obviously needs to be funny and comedic. Those are the ingredients of a successful rom-com. We grew up on a lot of Nora Ephron comedies and Richard Curtis comedies, and we haven’t seen a rom-com in that vein in several years. That’s what we’re trying to aspire to with this film.”

Previous screen appearences have been in support roles for Australian actor and comedian Geraldine Viswanathan (“Bad Education” with Hugh Jackman). Here, she embraces the lead character with charm, warmth and outgoing dynamism. The actor’s hidden talents burst forth, enticing viewers to befriend her character.

Lucy’s vision of life attracted Viswanathan to the role. “Lucy is a celebrator of life and happy moments times, someone that I want to be friends with. She’s got a big heart and feels things to the fullest.” Viswanathan instills freshness to her onscreen character. There is no woe-is-me mindset that backgrounds conventional heartbreak and emotional peril rom-com plots.

”The Broken Hearts Gallery” is male friendly young at heart “chick-flick” speckled with engaging witty dialogue. For marrieds, a perceptive date movie to rekindle young love memories. An added assist to the narrative is the contribution from Broadway legend Bernadette Peters, cast as a cool, collected art scene prima donna who adds an amen with her verbal bon mot, ‘Pain is inevitable – it’s what you do with it that counts.’

What you see onscreen is pure fantasy, as uplifting and fizzy as bubbles in champagne. “The Broken Hearts Gallery” is showing in re-opened movie theatres. Be guided by safety standards imposed because of the current pandemic.

BACKSTAGE BITS/CINEMA SNIPPETS

In a rather daring thrust, Mirvish Productions is re-opening live theatre scene with the international premiere of Blindness,” on stage at the Princess of Wales Theatre beginning November 17. It will be the first indoor theatrical presentation in Toronto since the pandemic shut down of all legit houses. “Blindness,” a socially distanced sound installation,had its world premiere in August at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre in London where it received rave reviews.

Producer David Mirvish says: “For the last six months my staff and I have been working diligently to find a way to offer different forms of theatre in environments that are safe and comfortable”.

The show runs 70-minutes without an intermission. Each performance will be limited to 50 people seated (socially distanced, in pairs and singles) on the immense stage of the Princess of Wales Theatre (full details at www.mirvish.com).

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Marge Champion, a dancer and actor who served as the real-life model for Disney’s 1937 animated classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” died Oct. 21 at the age of 101.

She and husband, Gower, also were acclaimed as dance partners and choreographers for Broadway musicals, films and television shows. They teamed in multiple MGM musicals, including the 1951 remake of the classic “Show Boat”.

Gower died suddenly at the age of 59 on August 25, 1980, just hours before the Broadway opening of his greatest success as choreographer/director. “42nd Street” ran for 3,486 performances.

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Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa is noted for horror genre films haunting the cultural landscape of his homeland.

His new cinema effort, “Wife of a Spy,” winning him the top directing award at last month’s Venice Film Festival, will likely cause a major stir at home. Set during the Second World War, the film touches on the atrocities attributed to the Imperial Forces, a controversial blemish buried in history, kept out of mind and which Japanese society attempts to erase. This is in contrast to Germany which has openly acknowledged its Nazi past.

“Wife of a Spy,” receiving favorable reviews, has not had a North American release announced yet.

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