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Review: The Broken Hearts Gallery

Monday, 21 September 2020



“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 d├ęcor 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)

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