Review: “The Broken Hearts Club”

Greg Berlanti, a guy you could arguably title as the protege of Kevin Williamson (“Scream”, “Dawson’s Creek”), gives us a look at a group of friends in West Hollywood – a look resulting in an somewhat interesting movie. On the one hand it’s funny, very well scripted and is likely the most realistic American film portrayal yet of the gay youth population.

On the other, these ‘slice of life’ style dramas are great for TV but on the big screen it won’t hold an avid interest for those outside the demographic the filmmakers are aiming for – the total lack of straight characters prevents it from ‘crossing over’. Gay men will love every minute of it, the rest of the population will be floating between ‘very good’ and ‘a yawner’ depending upon various factors.

Acting-wise the cast is impressive. Timothy Olyphant does his career best performance as the narrator of the action – a character coming to realise that he’s approaching 30 and wants something more than one-night stands. Dean Cain is surprisingly good as the “I’m good looking so everyone likes me” style egotist and Nia Long is great as the totally bitchy lesbian lover of one the main guy’s sister.

The others all do well with their parts, Keegan a little wooden but then again kind of expected for the role of the ‘newbie’. What’s quite surprising is the cameos of actors who you’ll go “hey, isn’t that the guy from such-and-such a show” – there’s lot of them in here plus a few others you might recognise by name like Kerr Smith (Jack on ‘Dawson’) as a baseball catcher and Michael Bergin (“Baywatch”) as a major Hollywood actor.

The jokes are smart and generalised to be accessible to all audiences. Conservatives might squirm a bit at the numerous ‘make out’ scenes throughout the pic though they never progress beyond that level. There’s drug use though its in a limited and quite realistic context.

All up this isn’t boundary pushing in terms of what’s shown but rather in the fact there’s no issues around any of it which dominate movies of the genre (thus it never becomes depressing). It may be lacking in scope, but its a solid film which works quite well at the movies though is better suited for video or TV.