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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on June 5, 2004
... exactly what Gay culture and lifestyle is like in any major city and is funny, unsettling honest (in the way that Gay people hated AL PACINO's racey yet truthful "Cruising" 1981 - sorry boyz, this was 1981 Gay culture), and totally believable and witty. I have to say, that ignoring the AIDS issue, the 'drag' factor (for the most part), and showing that all Gay men are not effeminate, needy or unhappy and promiscous for lack of anything else makes it the one and only film I would show my Mother ... she see my life then; and that of my friends : honestly, and not buttered up like the posh unreality of WILL & GRACE or QUEER EYE (like any masculine Gay man acts or dresses like that! : plezzze!).
Honest, believable and totally a reflection of Gay culture in the last 10 years, with out all the 'false trimmings' media has perpetrated on the rest of us normal Gay people like the ones 'living' in this film.
Some may not like it, because it is TOO honest. That quite honestly is why I really DID love it.
Think of this as the late 2000 version of "Torch Song Trilogy" : times have change a tad of late, and this reflects it honestly like that othe movie did on 1988.
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on August 1, 2002
The Broken Hearts Club is one of my favorite movies of all time... it's got comedy, romance, drama... everything you need in a movie. The acting is wonderful all around, which surprised me.
Timothy Olyphant is absolutely great as Dennis, and I was glad to see him in a role that isn't a villain (Scream 2, El Diablo). I'm looking forward to seeing him more. Dean Cain proved that not only does he have the good looks, but he has the talent to back it up. In fact, the best scene in the entire film takes place between Cain and Kerr Smith. Matt McGrath and Zach Braff both have decent roles, and they play them well. But the real show-stealer here is Billy Porter as Taylor, the drama queen. He provides a lot of the comic relief, and has some of the funniest lines in the movie ("I don't see why they don't just let me hit off the tee... shut up bit**es!"... among many others).
The Broken Hearts Club has everything I like in a movie: comedy, great-acting, believable dialogue. Whether you're straight or gay, The Broken Hearts Club is one you'll enjoy.
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on October 16, 2003
Could any movie possibly address the issue of relationships (or lack there of) in the homosexual culture and better? NO! The Broken Hearts Club is hysterical and very cleverly written. It uses gay slang...showing definitions between scene changes. I just thought it was amazing! It's a must see. Prepare to laugh.
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on June 22, 2002
FINALLY a gay film that celebrates who gay guys are without shame, disease, or familial issues! Writer and Director Greg Berlanti has woven a wonderful film showcasing a diverse group of friends who are more like a family. I was surprised this feature really hit home with how each character is distinguished, yet so close, like my own real-life group of friends (but here in San Francisco). The ensemble cast deliver fine, distinct performances, in a heartfelt tale that is very much unparalleled to any other gay-themed film.
The story is about a close group of friends, living in Los Angeles, who embrace who they are without any societal shame. The cast is lead by Dennis (played by talented Timothy Olyphant), an autuer photographer with dreams of pursuing his craft in Europe. But in the interim, he longs for a guy who will notice him for who he is on the inside as opposed to his goodlooks.
Nevertheless, his more gorgeous roommate Cole (a surprising role from handsome Dean Cain) utilizes his dreamboy looks and masculine/straight-acting persona to garner any goodlooking guy he wants, and does, only to reject those unsuspecting cute guys later. Cole continues doing so up until a famous "heterosexual and married" Hollywood leading hunk he falls for shows him his comeuppance at some point.
Neurotic psyche-grad Howie (Matt McGrath) is wonderful as the deducing and evaluative friend who can't fix his own love life with a live-in ex-boyfriend (Justin Theroux), yet manages to dictate advice to his friends on relationships, men, and life.
Muscle queen Benji can't get enough out of scamming on pumped-up muscleboys, only until he realizes their true nature (using people as play things, incessantly drugged-out circuit partyers, whose lives "revolve around sex and protein shakes"), practically paying with his own life while dating a muscular gym bunny.
The incomparable (Ms.) Taylor (the wonderful Taylor Porter) is a real hoot as the group's resident black drama queen who is just over-the-top! His reaction to cheating "long-term boyfriend" Paul (someone we never see, but there's no need to) helps deliver the laughs at the heart of this picture. Get ready to snap your fingers, boys!
Appearance-conscientious Patrick may not be the prettiest one of the bunch, but he truly proves what matters most from a person's inside can speak volumes over goodlooks and [...] body. Patrick definitely mirrors someone we have known sometime in our lives, and someone we always turn to in a matter of need. Ben Weber is Patrick, and his performance is heightened when his on-screen lesbian sister (Mary McCormack) and her lover (the beautiful Nia Long) want his sperm for a baby -- and perhaps Patrick will forget about his issues with appearances to concentrate on being the father of a baby.
So-called newbie Kevin (Andrew Keegan from TV's "7th Heaven") is delightful as someone we have either been or have known -- the freshly young, cute, and desirable new gay kid on the block. He himself doesn't know whether he's gay or not, but likes sleeping with gorgeous guys like Cole, while being attracted to Dennis. Oh, the memories this character can bring out in many of us . . .
And last, but not least, "Frasier"'s John Mahoney is excellent and touching as the group's father figure. Mahoney's character Jack owns the restaurant-bar the Boys work at and frequent, and he is captivating as the Shakespearean-taught and grounded elder of the group whose zest for life energizes and fuels the future hopes for the younger band of boys.
The characters here, unlike what one reviewer stated, are not really stereotypical. In fact, I have encountered, met, and personally know gay guys with personalities mirrored from this film. Though it maybe easy to label them as stereotyped, some of the other characters (Howie, Patrick, Jack) don't fit the stereotypical mode, especially since they're unconventional within a gay atmosphere, but make them true originals. I believe Greg Berlanti has encompassed a broad range of characters, set them together as friends, and made the entire film work flawlessly as each character not only care for each other, but love one another in a tight familial fashion.
"Broken Hearts Club" is a film I saw originally in the theaters, and then ran out telling my friends about it. Upon its video release, I told other friends who never saw it to "Buy it, not rent it." As you can imagine, "Broken Hearts Club" is a wonderful gay tale for everyone, especially for those young gay people just coming to terms with who they are. This film thus far is perfect in presenting how gay men can stitch together a wonderful family of friends, and therefore will never be alone in years and decades to come. This film is a must for every movie home collection!
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on March 14, 2002
Though described on the DVD packaging as "the first mainstream gay movie" (erm, "Philadelphia", anyone?), Greg Berlanti's "The Broken Hearts Club A Romantic Comedy" (2000) seems more than a little timid in the wake of confrontational dramas like "Queer as Folk", but the former producer and co-writer of TV's gay-friendly "Dawson's Creek" makes an auspicious directorial debut with this familiar account of several gay friends looking for love and companionship in vanity-driven Los Angeles. As one character puts it: "Gay men in LA are a bunch of 10's looking for an 11."
Essentially the tale of a gay softball team composed of staff and management of a popular restaurant run by elderly patriarch John Mahoney (celebrated co-star of TV's "Frasier"), the film's paper-thin narrative is roused by a combination of lively dialogue and well-defined characters, played to perfection by a terrific cast, culled mostly from the New York stage: Ben Weber is the 'Plain Joe' whose inability to attract a boyfriend is due more to his lack of self-esteem than absence of personality; Dean Cain (Superman himself!) is a hunky aspiring actor who leaves a trail of broken hearts in his wake; punk-style Zach Braff portrays a gym-queen who seems wilfully blind to the dark side of gym culture; Matt McGrath and Justin Theroux are ex-boyfriends who can't seem to let go of one another; and Andrew Keegan is the cute new kid who stumbles into this disparate group whilst struggling to come to terms with his burgeoning sexuality. The unofficial pack-leader (Timothy Olyphant) is smart, ironic, and increasingly aware of the personal opportunities he's sacrificed in his relentless pursuit of casual sex with strangers.
Given the breakneck pace and distinctive character traits outlined in Berlanti's script, the actors invigorate a fairly routine scenario with their keen attention to detail and beautifully-judged responses to the various plot developments, though Olyphant (whose demonic good looks have previously seen him typecast in too many villainous roles) dominates proceedings as a young man who finds himself at a crossroads and recognizes the need to change his life forever. Mahoney is funny, wise and dignified as the Shakespeare-quoting softball coach, and Broadway singer-actor Billy Porter gets some of the best lines in a role that otherwise amounts to little more than comic relief. Beefcake is provided by supermodel-turned-actor Michael Bergin ("Baywatch Hawaii") and Christian Kane (semi-regular on TV's "Angel") in cameo roles, and the lovely Kerr Smith appears briefly in one of the movie's best scenes. Watch out, too, for a memorable appearance by Jennifer Coolidge as a 'helpful' hair stylist who brings the house down with a single line of dialogue! However, a subplot involving Weber's sister (Mary McCormack) and her attempts to become a mother with long-term partner Nia Long is underdeveloped to the point of redundancy (memo to gay moviemakers: if you're gonna include lesbians in these otherwise all-male offerings, do 'em properly or not at all!), and Cain's much-publicized 'kiss' with Keegan is coyly hidden by the angle at which it's filmed, a hideous cop-out (the eminently straight Olyphant has no such qualms, however, and he kisses some of his male co-stars with abandon!). Shot on location over a three week period and photographed in Super 35 by cinematographer Paul Elliott ("And the Band Played On"), the movie has the look and feel of a widescreen TV show, and Berlanti opts for fairly basic compositions which allow the characters to govern the frame throughout.
Columbia Tristar's region 1 DVD runs 95m 10s and includes both a 4:3 pan-scan version and a letterboxed (2.35:1) print, anamorphically enhanced. Picture quality is fine but not pristine, possibly due to lesser quality film stock, while the 5.1 and 2.0 soundtrack options are expansive but unremarkable. Subtitles and closed captions are provided. Extras include a trailer for the video release (what happened to the theatrical version?!), deleted scenes - including a wonderful, life-changing encounter between old pro Mahoney and youthful pretender Keegan - and a terrific commentary by Berlanti and co-producer Mickey Liddell, both of whom seem mildly surprised at how well the finished movie turned out! Clearly enjoying themselves, they recount a wealth of production details and on-set anecdotes, and they also provide comprehensive reasons for their various casting decisions, tacitly acknowledging that their actors are the heart and soul of the picture. Berlanti mentions that he hopes to preserve a number of the actors' audition tapes on DVD, but sadly, they haven't been included here.
Gay cinema doesn't really need another romantic comedy, but while "Broken Hearts" doesn't offer anything new, it's salvaged by snappy editing, a quickfire pace, and first-class performances by some of the best young actors working in America today. And thanks to a clever, throwaway bit of name-dropping, the movie offers fleeting confirmation - at last! - of the role played by sex-god Antonio Sabato Jr. in the fantasies of hormonally-charged gay teenagers everywhere! Been there, done that...
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on December 9, 2001
I wasn't going to write a review of this movie, because I felt I probably wouldn't be able to add much. But after reading some other reviews, I have to write.
Sure it's not realistic - GET OVER IT!! I enjoy movies because they amuse and entertain me, make me feel an empathy with the characters, or in some way make me feel at the end - "I really enjoyed the way I spent the last hour and a half" (or two hours, or whatever). And this movie certainly did that for me.
Few of the actors are really gay, as several reviewers criticized, but I think it speaks a lot for a more accepting culture that a straight actor would be eager to take on a role that used to be fatal for his career. I think every actor did a good job on his character. Timothy Olyphant was fantastic as the good-looking main character (director's commentary reveals he bought the SUV and his own house with money from an inheritance - movie should have brought that out). Andrew Keegan as the "newbie" just coming out of the closet was very believable, and I hope this movie adds impetus to his acting career - he certainly deserves it. Those two characters were my favorite, and I really wish their relationship had evolved more - maybe in a sequel?
I really enjoyed this movie, went out and bought it, and have watched it numerous times since.
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on May 25, 2002
"The Broken Heart's Club: A Romantic Comedy" is just that - a romantic comedy. It is funny. It is bittersweet. It is very real. I loved it.
The story tracks the lives of a group gay friends in L.A. with all its ups and downs. It tells the story of their "growing up" as one "comes out," and the others come to terms with important issues in their lives (ex-boyfriends, sisters, pursuit of dreams, conquests, ...). In the end, they realize how important their friendship is.
The dialogue is hilarious with gay lingo inserted very cleverly throughout the movie, and the storyline is very accessible. I would definately recommend this movie to anyone - gay or gay-friendly! Bring the pop-corn, and the box of tissues (optional) and enjoy this movie. :)
PS: Andrew Keegan is so cute as the "newbie" :)
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on December 17, 2001
This was an excellent movie. It really showed how gay friends are with one another. This movie could have been made about my group of friends. Moreover, it was funny--especially, the banter amongst the friends. And of course, the hairsalon scene is hilarious.
I read a review on amazon that this was like a gay version of Steel Magnolias. HUH? That movie (...). I see nothing to compare the two. This movie has wit and is clearly in tune with the gay sensibilities of young urban gay men.
And it has Tim Olyphant. WOW.. what more could a movie ask for.
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on January 8, 2002
I recently bought The Broken Hearts Club because I had heard nothing but good things about it.I decided I'd give the movie a try.I sat down and watched the movie and ended up loving it.Thought it has one of the most simplest plots,the movie is very funny and touching.The entire cast did an amazing job in this movie.The characters were written so well,which is what made this movie so good.Don't listen to those who didn't like this movie because it is an awesome movie.A must see for everyone.
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on June 3, 2002
This flick has some great moments of portraying gay male friendships. I especially liked the fact that an African American was among the circle of friends. I highly suggest this movie for a close knit set of guys to watch over strong high balls. It will surely touch there hearts as it did mine.
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