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The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy (2000)

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An insight into the turbulent lives and loves of a gay clique based in Los Angeles.

Director:

Greg Berlanti

Writer:

Greg Berlanti
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Weber ... Patrick
Timothy Olyphant ... Dennis
Matt McGrath ... Howie
Zach Braff ... Benji
Nora Burns Nora Burns ... Female Shopper
Dean Cain ... Cole
Chris Payne Gilbert ... Larry
John Brandon John Brandon ... Mickey
Diane McBain ... Josephine
Robert Peters ... Cop
Billy Porter ... Taylor
John Mahoney ... Jack
Nia Long ... Leslie
Mary McCormack ... Anne
Justin Theroux ... Marshall
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Storyline

In the palm-shaded oasis of West Hollywood, we meet Dennis, a promising photographer. As he prepares to celebrate his twenty-eighth birthday, he laments, ' I can't decide if my friends are the best or worst thing that ever happened to me.' The gang includes Benji, the punkish innocent with a penchant for gym bodies; Howie, the psychology grad student who thinks too much and lives too little; Cole, the charismatic actor who accidentally keeps stealing everybody's guy; Patrick, the cynical quipster, and Taylor, resident drama queen, who, until recently, prided himself on his long-term relationship. Providing sage advice and steady work is Jack, the beloved patriarch whose restaurant is a haven for them all. When tragedy strikes the group, the friendships are put to the test. Written by John Cooper

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The shortest distance between friends isn't always a straight line.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

8x10's See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$109,694, 1 October 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,744,858, 18 February 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The hardware store scene early in the film was shot at Laurel Hardware, which closed in 2009. See more »

Goofs

In the scene in the kitchen with Dennis and Kevin, Dennis reports that "My friend's relationship hit Defcon 5". Defcon 5 is the lowest status, not the highest. See more »

Quotes

Kevin: I don't get you guys. Is that all you do, you just sit around and talk about guys?
Dennis: Either that, or we talk about guys.
See more »

Connections

References Quick Draw McGraw (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fine ensemble cast ignites OK comic drama
5 March 2005 | by LibretioSee all my reviews

THE BROKEN HEARTS CLUB: A ROMANTIC COMEDY (2000)

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Sound formats: Dolby Digital / SDDS

The lives and loves of an LA softball team, comprised entirely of gay men.

Greg Berlanti's heartfelt drama seems a little timid in the wake of confrontational entries like "Queer as Folk", but the former producer and co-writer of TV's gay-friendly "Dawson's Creek" makes an otherwise 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 Queer sports team comprised of staff and management at a popular restaurant run by elderly patriarch John Mahoney ("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, wilfully blind to the dark side of gym culture; Matt McGrath and Justin Theroux are ex-lovers 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 and sassy, and increasingly aware of the personal opportunities he's sacrificed in his relentless pursuit of casual sex with strangers.

The actors invigorate a fairly routine scenario, though Olyphant (whose demonic good looks have typecast him in too many villainous roles) dominates proceedings as a young man standing at the crossroads of his life, seeking confirmation of his own personal value. 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 movie makers: 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 - he kisses his male co-stars with reckless abandon!). Shot on location by cinematographer Paul Elliott (AND THE BAND PLAYED ON), the movie has the look and feel of a widescreen TV show, dominated by closeups and medium shots which invalidate Berlanti's use of the scope format.

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 America's finest young actors. 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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