"It loses at its own game after a few convincing innings."
For the most part, "The Broken Hearts Club" (…a romantic comedy) is an innocuous gay-guy-looking-for-happiness movie, which centers around a clique of guys (Timothy Olyphant --the lovable one, Zach Braff --the imitation N'Sync member, Matt McGrath --the kvetching nerd, Dean Cain --the actor everyone wishes they were, Ben Weber --the ugly duckling, Billy Porter --the recently dumped, and Andrew Keegan --"the newbie."). It's all the usual steps of a romantic comedy, only with the exception of the sexuality. And generally, it doesn't hurt it.It's silly and it's cute and writer/director Greg Berlanti knows it the whole way as he practically tries to reach off screen and tickle you and pinch your cheek. But that only lasts so long. "Broken Hearts" is obsequiously trying to fit in ("Everybody can't be straight. Everybody can't be beautiful --just gay and average.") and it manages to be sweetly amateurish while gayly Utopian ("I was left for a trainer named Dash. I was left for a punctuation mark!"). There is some funny referential humor ("Gym Bunnies," "OGT: Obviously Gay Trait") but in the last quarter, the plot eclipses it all superficially becoming its unconquerable opponent. It lays the bathos on as thick and roughly as chunky peanut butter. Nevertheless, the cast is fresh and for the bigger name actors, it can only serve to broaden the résumé, although one might notice that several of them did "gay" almost too well. (John Mahoney is especially good, though as the restaurant owner and cook which the Broken Hearts is taken from, one also wonders if restaurant inspection would see it fit for him to smoke his stogie over the food as he does here.) The R rating was unfair. It should only be a PG-13.
With Nia Long and Mary McCormack.
Playing exclusively in San Diego at Landmark's Hillcrest.Final Verdict: C+.