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Review: The Broken Hearts Gallery

Monday, 21 September 2020

 

Source


“Heartbreak is the loneliest feeling in the world. And the truth is it happens to all of us."

Going into The Broken Hearts Gallery, I was a woman with high expectations. I don’t think I’ve ever said before here that I love rom-coms. It’s something I’ve shied away from admitting in the past, in fear that I wouldn’t be considered a ‘good feminist’ since women enjoying the light films have previously been a source of ridicule. The double standard of women enjoying romantic comedies vs men enjoying action films is a discussion for another day though.. Back to the review.

Written and directed by Natalie Krinsky, the broken heart’s gallery follows the conventional rom-com idea we expect going into a screening, but what film these days doesn’t in some way start with boy meets girl? The classic formula of an early-on messy break up, supportive yet hilarious best friends and a dashing male who arrives at just the right time even if he is just a friend… At face value if treated like most reviewers treat all other non-Ephron written romantic comedies, Broken Heart’s Gallery could easily be written off. To do so based upon this, I believe the potential viewer would be making a big mistake. Krinsky’s script brings so much more to the formula though, creating life in what has been considered to be a rather dying genre. Crammed with both smart-relatable witticisms, it’s hard not to fall in love with main character Lucy and the journey she forges throughout the film. I entered with high hopes, thinking this would be one of the films I’d adore this year, not at all expecting it to bring me to tears at points.

 The film opens on a ‘perfect’ relationship that quickly turns south in what is one of the cringiest break ups I’ve seen in recent years. (A viral moment that indicates how Krinsky has ensured the film is based in ‘our time’) Lucy is a 26-year old gallery assistant who dreams of one day being curator, but who is so consumed by past relationships that she hoards mementos from every one of them. Her room is the source of many jokes by her friends Nadine and Amanda, with its décor ranging from a plastic piggy bank to bags of shoe laces and a monopoly thimble. It’s all essentially crap, but it means something to her. Following the split, her friends urge her to throw away the ex memorabilia and move on; all leading to Lucy bumping into Nick (Dacre Montgomery) who is conveniently setting up a boutique hotel where she begins a shrine to love lost, where the broken-hearted can leave behind mementoes of beloved exes so that they can finally move on.


The Broken Heart’s gallery does not re-invent the rom-com, but does it amazingly well and brings it into an overall more relatable modern era. The idea of a broken hearts gallery reframes the romance of the film, it challenges how we look at our own break ups and how we even understand heart break to begin with.  The notion is a poignant one and gives the film even more depth when we do eventually find out the reason for Lucy’s hoard of belongings. The level of depth this creates for the film though is only made possible by the casting of the film.



Amanda (Molly Gordon), Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Nadine (Phillipa Soo)
 Source 

Geraldine Viswanathan stars as Lucy, playing the woman as funny, and unfiltered; the rom-com heroine we’ve been longing for who actually seems somewhat relatable. The performance is full of such life that it’s easy to relate to Lucy out the film, bringing much needed dimension and diversity to the usually self-deprecating twenty something living in New York. The chemistry between the two leads is natural, barbs bouncing easily between Viswanathan and Montgomery. There is something almost delightful about the way they spar with one another which creates a courtship built on a genuine friendship, establishing the will-they-won’t-they I find your happy as a viewer to end in either friendship or romance. I will also say it’s refreshing to see Montgomery without the mullet he sported as Billy in Stranger things, looking every part the dashing yet brooding love interest to match his brilliant performance. The supporting cast of Philippa Soo, yes Eliza from Hamilton, and Molly Gordon are great fun adding witty support to main character Lucy throughout the film. Overall a great watch and just a fun break from life at the moment.


One last mention goes to Cineworld for their precautions in the cinema, online booking is easy to use and I felt safe the entire time I was there. There were only four of us in the screening so social distancing was easy, but the one way system was easy to navigate making me feel safe for the entire time I was there.

Favourite quotes:

“My vibrator will never break my heart.” – Never have more true words been uttered, the vibrator is every modern woman’s best friend in heart break

“Men. You run the planet, you start wars, you killed the bees!!” – The most entertaining rant I’ve seen about the patriarchal history of the world

“You fucked more Russian models than a tech billionaire.”- The jokes around Nadine’s romantic endeavours were a firm favourite for me. A lesbian who could be poisoned by Putin for her vagina, what’s not to love?

Star rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐


Five Slang terms I've heard for periods: Let's normalise bleeding

Friday, 18 September 2020

Tampon depicted as a melting popsicle
It's that bloody time again. Source: Erol Ahmed unsplashed

Recently, I watched the Bodyform wombstories campaign and it reminded me of how we treat periods or rather how we are taught to treat them. This isn’t a first for the brand as I remember back in 2017 when they were the first to create an advert that featured period blood. To this day I’m still shocked that it took until 2017 for periods to even feature in the advertising for the products designed to aid them. I mean how are we supposed to openly discuss period issues and having a menstrual cycle if it cannot even be shown properly on tv?

My period and me

I’ve discussed periods on the blog before in a post looking at how I can bemore sustainable with my own period and the switch to a menstrual cup but that’s all so far. Nothing beyond that, even though we should share our experiences more. Sharing our experiences is a hard thing to do though, especially when almost from a young age we are taught to be quiet about them. I remember when I was in primary school and learned about periods, all the boys were taken from the class and got to play football. Understandably I was annoyed, why did they get to go out and play but we didn’t? It was a small separation, but the start of almost teaching girls to be quiet about their period, the boys didn’t need to know even if them knowing would make it easier for us to be less awkward about what is a natural process. This was way back in 2008, and the conversation is more open now; we just need to talk more openly. Stop the awkwardness of leaving a classroom or the office to change, the whispered question of if your friend has a pad since you came on early.

I’m not too educated on the sex education curriculum, but I would be interested to see if this practise has changed. Boys should be included in the conversation of menstruation so they have some understanding of what happens beyond ill received pms punchlines in sitcoms. We shouldn’t have to feel awkward if a tampon falls out of our backpack in class because it’s perfectly normal to carry them around school. Approximately 73% of women don’t know what a vulva is, and with so much different information available, it can be overwhelming to talk openly so that these things can be learned. The discussion needs to be open between all genders about periods so that shame doesn’t need to be felt when you’re feeling crap because you’ve come on, after all how are we supposed to discuss our own experiences with each other if they’re still viewed as taboo by society?




The Slang

This is why today I’ve compiled a list of the terms I have heard used before to describe periods either as a joke or to cover the fact that period is a ‘dirty’ word. Period always seems to be something we shy away from, that it’s dirty and too much information. The ‘gross’ jokes are more accepted because they make light of the situation rather than actually engaging in the experience. Without further ado here are five terms I’ve heard being used instead of period.


1. The time of the month

Ah, an age old classic. Everyone at this point has decoded this sentence, knowing it almost always means a person is on their period. I’m not entirely sure why this is accepted since to me period also refers to a passage of time just as well but hey this was always the go to in senior school.


2. Surfing the Crimson wave

This one I’ve only heard once or twice as a joke and reference, but I’d like to thank Clueless for it. A timeless excuse to explain any lateness to a teacher, usually male, without getting a detention. Cher gets away with the explanation in the film as reason for lateness so why wouldn’t it work in real life?

3. The Red Terror

Another colour reference, yes a period does involve blood. (It’s why women are so good at removing blood stains…) I find this one to be good if you’ve had a particularly painful time, when you’re doubled over in cramps and want to die because your uterus has decided to revolt. Acceptable when you use it yourself, but I do think if any man used it as a joke because a woman has gotten annoyed I would probably want to thump them.

4. Aunt Flow


The aunt we all seem to share despite not being related, she seems to be a little needy though in that she has to visit every month. Honestly some people just make themselves welcome even when they arrive unexpectedly when a person isn’t prepared to receive them.


Honourable mentions….

I didn’t want this post to be massively long so here are a few honourable mentions I couldn’t ignore but didn’t have much to say about. In true watch mojo fashion I’m going to make you wait for the final term

·         The Blob (Flubber’s less fun friend has come to stay)
·         Shark week (Honestly sharks get such a bad press, they’re actually quite gentle creatures in a way)
·         On the rag (I don’t know why but this one I really don’t like)
·         Bloody Mary (Say her name three times and apparently she doesn’t appear in your mirror but actually in your menstrual cycle)

5.  Code Red

The dramatic alert in any disaster film and also apparently in the monthly calendar. A classic for when you’ve had a real disaster and leaked on your university bed in a room that you rent. the inventor of mattress protectors was really looking out for us. This reminds me of the 23/19 alert in Monsters inc with the sheer terror implied in it being a code red. Truly a blood bath. Baths are great when on your period in my opinion, same as the hot water bottle they soothe the cramps and just provide some much needed self-care.

There you have it, just some fun slang terms to continue the conversation of periods. We need to be more open about them to stop the awkwardness and taboo treatment. 




What are some of the names you’ve heard periods be called before?


Phone wallpaper created by me

Five ways we act when we have a crush

Monday, 14 September 2020

 

Deciding what to wear on a date is always a struggle


It’s been a while, but the dissertation has been submitted so I have a little more time to do other things now whilst I try to find a job. That might be it’s own little adventure on here though, a nice little documentary as I try to find my way through my twenties in a pandemic. That’s not the point of today’s post.

We’ve all had crushes, even if the word crush does make me cringe ever so slightly now at the ripe age of 22. Crush just makes me think of mizz magazine with the cringe columns and tales of woe as you fart in front of the boy you like, supposedly ruining all chances you have of ever dating him. Nevertheless they still persist, and what better way to discuss them than in the teen magazine format. A list post of things I, or maybe even we, have done when we’ve had crushes in the past.

 

1.Become a spy with internet skills MI6 could dream to have

Whether you met them on tinder or in a class, the internet is a best friend when it comes to dating. I’ve never added someone on facebook when I was interested in them, but it’s always good to get a recon mission in. It’s the only time I’ve considered my cyber skills good enough to actually become a spy, finding out if they photographs well and if we’ve got any mutual friends. I feel like this is something everyone does, or maybe everyone I know at least…

2. Play it cool…or play it cool as well as 10 year old me plays netball

Playing it cool has never been a strong suit in any situation for me. I mean this with utmost honesty, I cannot play it cool in any capacity. We all do it though, play off the feelings as if they’re nothing so the person doesn’t find out before you tell them even if you do actually tell them. Act like you feel nothing that’s not platonic for the other person, they think you’re cool and disinterested which both helps if nothing comes of it but also slows down any actual result from the crush. You could always do what I do though, trip over your own feet in an effort to move around them, this is something I do normally and without a crush. Tripping over your words is also a big thing here, getting out sentences is hard at the best of time…let alone when you feel like every word should matter

 

3. Oh you like sport? So do I!

Now this is a classic move, one I feel that everyone has definitely done at some point in their lives. Pretending to like a small thing they love just to be that bit more compatible, it’s only a small white lie to support their team or favourite film as long as you don’t stop supporting your own. At aged nine I played star wars in the playground to spend time with the guy I liked, despite knowing nothing about the films beyond light sabres. (Even then I was annoyed because apparently girls don’t have those since they’re not jedi, I had to settle for an imaginary gun instead. Safe to say this non-relationship did not happen from this rocky start)

4. Girl talk, do they like me?

Ah messenger, the play ground, a sleep over? Wherever the location, the conversation is about them. At least in the early stages. It’s always interesting to discuss how you approach the crush, if they like you, the odds of it working. How beautiful they are in that unobtainable way which means they’d of course never be interested. Even in a game of M.A.S.H. That’s planning out your whole life though. Praying you get to live in a mansion instead of the shed and that if you do luckily land on your crush as THE ONE, you don’t end up landing on a high number for children. We all know at aged 10 that 30 odd children is good for no one especially if you have a bike instead of a car. A turbulent time, but sometimes life seemed so much simpler when it was planned by the Gods of MASH or a paper fortune teller.

 



How I feel about dating (Source)


5. Shake it off..

Most of the time a crush comes to nothing, or at least it does in my case. A mixture of anxiety over their rejection and inability to commit usually contributes to having to do this. As much as we fantasise and think about how it could be, usually you just have to get over it. Sometimes they have a partner; or in my case you match with them on tinder, they see you in the library on a Sunday sans make up in essay hell so unmatch you since you’re really not looking at your best. I can confidently say this person was not worth my time and good to get over, but it was hard to face at first…Almost like they’d seen my face then saw it as reason to leave… that’s their loss though!

What are some of the ways you’ve behaved when facing a possible partner in the past?

 

Live Theatre is Back: Reviewing Jesus Christ Superstar, Regents Park Open Air Theatre

Friday, 21 August 2020



Live theatre is back, and better than ever in a way that keeps everyone, both audience and performers alike, safe. It’s an understatement to say the theatre scene has taken an impact from Covid-19, but Regent’s Park open announcing a short 6 week run of their award winning production Jesus Christ Superstar appeared to be an almost beacon of hope in the darkness and confusion we are all currently feeling.


Despite being the same venue I visited last year, when I was fortunate enough to see Evita, the outdoor theatre almost feels like a completely different place. With temperature checks in the queue, and a one-way system around the outdoor bar area, it is clear to see that the venue has gone above and beyond to ensure public safety at all performances. ‘Seating bubbles’ in the auditorium limit the contact between members of the public, bringing the audience size down to less than a third of what would normally be permitted at the venue. Masks are asked to be worn at all times by those who are not exempt, allowing a glimpse over how the theatre can possibly return. (When it isn’t raining at least..)

Life in lockdown: how I kept busy

Monday, 17 August 2020




I’ve not written on here for a good while, I would apologise but in eality I’ve been rather lazy and lax since I wanted to focus on my masters. The laziness is more in regards to not knowing what niche I could have or where I wanted to go with this blog.

Over the last few months, lockdown, rona, just everything; I have wanted to make a difference. At least I have wanted to use my voice for good, I’m still not sure how to do that but I am trying. I really want this platform to be a reflection of my voice though, meaning there may be serious posts where I rant or talk about what needs to change in the world. Not many people read this platform, but I like to think this is or can be a voice beyond frivolity and fun musings.


Goals, milestones and me

Monday, 9 March 2020
Shirt: Vintage, Jeans: Thrift flipped levis Dino Socks: Tesco



Hi, my name is Julia and I am at the start of an existential crisis. Currently I am studying a masters in history, a nice extension of my undergraduate degree since I enjoyed studying so much. Less contact hours, but still fulfilled by the same mind set I have had for the past 10 or so years I’ve spent in education. Work towards goals and particular milestones either in life or the school year; there is always something to do or look forward to in the academic year. A point to strive towards. The loss of this idea genuinely terrifies me.

My Journey To A Sustainable Period

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Disclaimer: The period product props in these I already had
and didn't buy just for the post

Hello and welcome back to the blog, today I’m gonna be chatting about something we all are well accustomed with, or rather should know more about owing to the pitfalls of the PSCHE classes offered in schools… That’s right periods! I know this topic was ignored as much as sex education was growing up, but I distinctly remember the boys being allowed to go out and play football when as girls we had to sit in the classroom to learn about our menstrual cycles. As a disgruntled 10 year old all I wanted to do was go out and play football, on the other hand as a disgruntled 21 year old I feel that boys should be included in all sex education lessons so there is a greater awareness of periods. Not shading all men, but some are downright clueless when it comes to periods.

Valentines: Sh*t I am loving at the moment

Thursday, 13 February 2020



Okay so this post wasn’t really a planned one, though for once I have a list of pre-planned posts I just need to write out. (Shocking for anyone that knows me, you know I’m chaotic and as disorganised as they come). Today’s post was just a spur of the moment decision to share about some of the random things I’ve been loving recently. There’s not really any reason or categorisation to these things, just the idea that they spark joy. None of them will be getting the boot at this time if I ever decide to Marie Kondo sort my mind and life. I’m hoping this comes across as a nice chat with coffee or wine with how it reads but who knows if I will actually succeed in this aim. Plus I thought sharing it today had the added bonus of appealing to all you lovers out there since tomorrow is the big V-day. Enjoy your dates and hopefully this post of what I've been enjoying lately. As always I’m starting to ramble so here are some of the things that I have been enjoying recently. 

Sustainable fashion and me

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Apologies for the short intermission in scheduled posting, but last week I didn’t have a post pre-written and had very little motivation due to a little mental health slump. The only day I had a small semblance of energy was Friday, and I really was not in the mood to post on the same day as leaving the EU. Instead on Friday I chose to watch Miss Americana on Netflix, which of course made me cry as I cry an nearly anything, but I really recommend it. It’s great to see a documentary that shows the story behind the manicured concerts and tours, especially one about such a high profile celebrity.

Anyway, once again I have gotten off topic in the opening paragraph and the entire above section has almost nothing to do with the actual post.. I could easily delete it from the content since unlike youtube, it won’t make everything look a little choppy but I’m going with it. Today I’m going back to the goals post, specifically how I’m trying to be more sustainable in regards to fashion and purchases. Recently I read a really good post over at Jenny’s blog about a year of sustainablefashion, and it got me thinking over how I could achieve my ‘environmental’ goals through clothes.

Review: The Five (Hallie Rubenhold)

Thursday, 23 January 2020

‘Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become more famous than any of these women’ -Hallie Rubenhold

The Five: The untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper
Author: Hallie Rubenhold
Genre: Non-fiction
Length: 348 Pages (not including the notes, index or bibliography)

The Victims of Jack the Ripper were never “just prostitutes”; they were women. They were human beings.

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales.
They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888.

I heard about this book whilst I was at university last year, ever since it had been on my to read list but I never got around to purchasing it. Fastforward a few months to me opening it on Christmas day. I knew it had to be my first book to read of 2020.

Rubenhold does not dwell on their murders as most do, Ripperologist accounts focus only on the night of their demise and nothing more. These accounts are so caught up in the hunt for the still masked killer that the women are forgotten, this isn’t the case for the five though. The central premise of her account rests upon this, that disproportionately research is still based around the notorious killer rather than the women he killed.

Even now it is assumed that all 5 victims were prostitutes, anonymous and victims to the London east end. Rubenhold dispels this myth, revealing that only 2 of the 5 women murdered were actually part of the sex trade. Her in-depth research instead shows what really tied the women together is the double standard of the era in which they lived, as at some point in their lives all 5 women suffered at the hand of a man.

The research into these women’s lives is drawn from censuses amongst a vast number of other sources to retrace the lives of these women up until the night of their deaths. What I loved about this was that is all we do as a reader, you walk with the woman until she goes to bed and that is it. By walking the women to the last point of wakefulness we take the power away from the actions of the killer, the focus is no longer on how or why, but rather who he killed. Where sources are thin, Rubinhold draws sensible conclusions, leaving the reader with a continual but deeply moving narrative.



Overall Verdict:

The book is split into different sections for each woman killed so I found myself reading it over a few days rather than racing through it. I just had to stop and think for a little bit after each story, just thinking of how their lives may have been different if the world had been just a little kinder or easier. I loved this book though, finally the women who fell victim to Jack the Ripper have been given a voice.

The tales are never sentimental, but deeply empathetic with how Rubenhold has framed the lives of each woman. I found this book incredibly gripping and easy to read, making it feel much more like a piece of fiction rather than non-fiction. The conclusion she draws sat with me, I finished the book yesterday but am still reeling from everything she said. This is a book I think everyone should read, deeply moving and a story that needs to be heard especially now.

If I were to give it a star rating which I did on my goodreads, it is an instant 5 for me.

Have you read the five? What did you think of it?

My Goals Going into 2020

Wednesday, 15 January 2020
It’s probably a little late in the year to start one of these posts, but as we are still in January I thought I would give it a shot. As someone who doesn’t and never has kept a diary, I thought I would maybe take a chance to write some of my goals for the year down here instead. I’m hoping that by writing them down they are more likely to come into fruition, in that I will actually stick with them. Not that I am one to give up easily, just someone who dwells on a hell of a lot of what ifs. A bad habit I know, one that I should probably try and break. So anyway, the goals. I was thinking about splitting them into categories as a way of rationalising them to myself and not just setting goals that feed into each other to only really achieve one thing.

Five Feminist Musicals To See

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Musicals aren’t something we all love, but they are something I love. Ask any of my friends and they can tell you that there is always at least one musical track in my spotify discover weekly every week. I don’t have a full-on obsession with them as I did with anything on tumblr back in 2013, they are just a constant love of mine. So today, I thought what’s better than my love of musicals? Combining it with another cause dear to me. Feminism. There are some great shows that showcase female talent and bring themes more into a modern era than before and I thought I’d share them today. 


4 Things You Don't Know About Me

Tuesday, 7 January 2020





This is probably the most cliché first post to publish on here but we are going with it since I think an introductory moment is always a good way to go. After all, the whole idea of a blog is sharing your interests and opinions. What I want is this to be a space where I can share pieces of writing that aren’t written with an academic audience in mind. Since this is my first post you know literally nothing about me, but as this is my second attempt at blogging some of you may have read some of my pieces from there. Even with that information, I don’t think my blog revealed a lot about me. This the blog post no one asked for, but you can (hopefully) enjoy anyway since it’s the first one. I promise content will get more original and better as I go, but for now here’s the four facts.