Broken Hearts Club, The

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 10/18/00 03:14:43

"I watched a gay film. And I didn't catch gay!"
4 stars (Worth A Look)

Gay cinema is a queer thing (pun very intended). Non gays will devoutly avoid it unless said film involves Nathan Lane in a pink dress behaving like Carmen Miranda. As a devout straight lad who quite likes the creatures with 'shirt potatoes', I can safely say I feel a lot less nauseated watching 'gay characters' that are real, that perhaps have jobs as architects and normal haircuts and four wheel drives and watch baseball and just happen to have feelings for other guys, than I do watching a fat guy with hairy arms lollop about doing the mambo in a tight little turquoise satin number to the tune of 'I Will Survive'. the beauty of The Broken Hearts Club is that, if you're not a complete Southern Baptist mongoloid and can get past the fact that these guys are talking about their relationships with other guys, it's actually a standard date flick.

Boy meets boy, boy dates boy, boy dumps boy, boy self loaths and learns not to be a bastard. If it starred Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks it'd make $70m in an hour. That it stars Dean Cain and Tim Olyphant will probably mean it struggles to clear a buck ninety outside of New York and LA. More's the pity.

What's it about? Oh, you know, guy stuff. A group of friends who have known each other for years go through the trials and tribulations of their individual sex/love lives. One is a vapid actor bonking everything he can, another is a nice guy just looking for love in all the wrong places, another wonders why nobody digs him and another tries to break up with his boy, then goes back, then goes away again, then wants him back again...

We all know these people, only the partners change. Story? Relationships. What more do you need to know? If you're in one, you know the ordeals and can relate to what's on screen. If you're not in one, you've been there and can relate to what's on screen. What's really on offer here is a frank portrayal of life as you know it, by guys who play their parts with frankness and reality and avoid the foppish crud that Hollywood needs to lump on any gay character so as to avoid looking like they're saying gay is good.

In Broken Hearts Club, you won't find the meaning of life, nor will you be secretly turned on or famously grossed out. It's not a rampant sex romp, it's not a rampant farce, it's just a good film, told well, acted well, thrown out there to maybe prove a point.

The point that the guy sitting next to you telling you how much the Bengals suck ass, may just go home and do same. Deal.

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