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The Broken Hearts Club Written and Directed by Greg Berlanti
The Broken Hearts Club is a wonderful Semi Romantic Comedy about a group of gay men who are friends. They are based out of a restaurant called the Jack of Broken Hearts, owned by Jack (John Mahoney) the patron father of their little klatch.
The wonderful thing about this movie is it is not a GAY movie, it is a movie about men who are gay. No one has AIDS, no one is the valiant partner of someone who is dieing of AIDS, no one is a hustler, leading a double life, or the stylish confidant of a lovelorn straight woman. They are six, later seven, gay men who have ordinary lives, and problems, whose common bond is the fact they are gay, and the fact they are friends. And the hangout, Jacks.
Early in the movie Dennis defines the theme for the movie: “A lot of people ask me when I first knew I was gay. Fact is, I don't know. But what I do remember, what I can recall, is when I first realized it was Okay: It was when I met these guys. My friends.”
Dennis (Timothy Olyphant) is a would be photographer. Dennis is the rock of the group. He is looking for a real long term relationship; he’s tired of dating around. He is also fiercely attracted to Kevin, (Andrew Keegan) a newbie, who is also a crush of Benji’s.
Dennis: You like The Carpenters.
Kevin: Oh, insanely.
Dennis: Well, here's to your first OGT. Obviously Gay Trait. Mine are: love of The Carpenters, culinary interests, and intense fear of blood sports.
Howie (Matt McGrath) is a pysch major. He is prone to analysis and denial.
Patrick: You act like he would never know we were checking him out.
Howie: He wouldn't even know I was a f*g if I wasn't here with you and your cart full of kitchenwares.
Patrick: What planet are you living on? There isn't a person in this entire store who wouldn't pick you off the homo tree in a second!
Howie: Oh keep telling yourself that.
Patrick: Excuse me, Miss. (woman walks over) This man, you've never seen him before in your life. Tell me, f*g, not a f*g?
Lady: Oh I'd have to say big f*g.
Howie has an on again off again relationship with Marshall (Justin Theroux) He broke up with Marshall because Marshall smoked too much pot. But the always seem to end up back in the sack. Marshall compares himself to Rice-a-roni, the ultimate consolation prize from 70’s, no matter what happened, you knew you were going home with a years supply.
Marshall: I hang on because I love you, and I wait patiently for you to calm down and wake up and realize that you love me too. You hang on because it's easy.
Howie: When you say it like that I sound like an @$$hole!
Patrick (Ben Webber) is not pretty. “All of the men in L.A. are a bunch of 10's looking for an 11. On a good night, and if the other guy's drunk enough... I'm a 6.” Patrick is the hostile one. He is to harsh, too direct. His side drama involves his sister and her lover. Patrick hates Leslie. “Leslie, queen of b!tch-town, your people have come to take you home.” Leslie reciprocates. But Anne and she want to have a baby, and for that….they need sperm. Patrick does not jump right on the band wagon.
Leslie: You see, I told you we should've just drugged him and jerked him off.
Patrick: Drugged me and... is this the woman that you want to become a mother with?
Anne: She's serious, too.
Taylor (Billy Porter) is the black guy, and the gayest. Taylor starts in a long term relationship; something he does not let anyone forget.
Taylor: As a person in a long-term relationship…
Cole: Is there a sentence that you don't start with "as a person in a long-term relationship"?
Taylor: It speaks on my authority, in matters of the heart.
Cole: It speaks of your boyfriend's insanity!
Then Taylor gets dumped. Long distance. From Hawaii. “I was left for another man. And not just any other man, a trainer. A trainer named Dash. I was left for a punctuation mark.”
Benji (Zach Braff) is a little punkish, and has a thing for Gym Bunnies. He is the one who brought Kevin into the group, and never hooked up with him. He is forever crushing, and being crushed. It is his way. But then Idaho Guy, a gym bunny, (the delectable Christian Kane) gives him his number, seconds after Benji lied to his friends about getting his number, and he hooks up for awhile. This puts some distance between them, but when Benji O.D.s that is the thing that draws them all back together again.
Kevin (Andrew Keegan) is the newbie. Introduced as a crush of Benji’s he is attracted to Dennis, but hooks up with Cole, gets dumped, hangs around, hooks up with Dennis for a very awkward making one night stand, then gets back with Cole, which gets Cole in trouble with his friends. Dennis is really Kevin’s mentor in the whole coming out process. Here is the bit after Kevin comes out. He does not say anything; Dennis just knows he went to a barbeque at his parents.
Dennis: You told them!
Kevin: It just kind of slipped out. My mom said she made some key lime pie, and I said 'great, I love key lime pie... and I'm gay'.
Dennis: I bet she wishes she made apple pie instead!
Finally there is Cole (Dean Cain). Cole is beautiful, straight acting, picks up guys easily, dates them awhile, and dumps them easily. Everyone wishes they were Cole, but only Howie will admit it to anyone but their hairstylist. Cole is an actor, and he gets a part in a movie. The star is someone who is supposedly straight, but all the guys think he might be gay.
Taylor: I hear Kip Rodgers is a big f*g.
Dennis: Kip Rodgers is not gay, he's married.
Taylor: Oh please, that's right up there with "He's not gay, he's in a fraternity."
Cole sleeps with the closeted Kip Rodgers.(Michael Bergin) He is supposed to come to LA for a discreet dinner with Cole, but stands him up. For the first time, Cole is on the other side of his own equation. But here is the thing that makes me love Cole. He turns to his friends, being a better one, and when someone asks him if Kip Rodgers is gay, he says, “Nah, he’s married.”
Those are the friends. And the movie deals with their lives, with baseball, with dating, with issues of coming out, finding love, dealing with each other, with children and mortality. Dennis said it so well, “I can't decide if my friends are the best or worst thing that ever happened to me.“
But it is Kevin who has the last word.
“A lot of people ask me when I first knew I was gay. Fact is, I don't know. But what I do remember, what I can recall, is when I first realized it was Okay: It was when I met these guys. My friends."
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Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good Date Movie
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older