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    DVD Video - Reviews [Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy]


    Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy

    Release Date:

    Studio: Columbia/TriStar
    Year: 2000
    Run Time: 95 minutes
    Rating: R
    Starring: Andrew Keegan, Mary McCormack, Matt McGrath, Nia Long, Timothy Olyphant, John Mahoney, Dean Cain
    Directed by: Greg Berlanti
    Produced by: Connie W. Dolph , Mickey Liddell , Joseph Middleton , Julie Plec and Sam Irvin
    Written by: Greg Berlanti
      Movie Summary: [Comedy]

        The only thing these friends have in common is that they play on the same team. But when times get tough, these friends are more like family. "The Broken Hearts Club" is a story about a group of gay men in Hollywood, their lovers and friends, and the often hilarious, occasionally poignant space in between--that is if they can get any space at all.

    DVD Details
    • Widescreen: 2.35:1, Enhanced for 16X9 TVs, Pan & Scan, Color, 5.1 Dolby Digital, Surround, Additional Languages: French, Subtitles: English, French, Closed Captioned, Region 1
    • Audio Commentary by writer/director Greg Berlanti and the producer, Deleted Footage with commentary, Talent Files
    See Full Disc Details...

    Reviewer: Marc Flemming [Staff]


            S ometimes this happens. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to relate to certain types of film content in a fair and objective manner. So when I come across a film that is a “romantic comedy” and I personally do not share the same sort of sexual preference required to relate to all aspects of the film, I feel I can’t always offer an accurate review when I so often interject my own personal opinions based upon experience. An example would be if I were asked to analyze the relationships of the females in Steel Magnolias. Being a guy that watches a lot of football and drinks a lot of beer, I’m likely not the person you’re going to converse with regarding that. But, as always, I’d sure try. So what eggshells am I walking on here?

    Broken Hearts Club tells the story of a group of gay men in southern California. Am I saying then that the comedy of a film with gay content requires the viewer to be gay to understand the humor? No, not at all. In a silly sort of way, you’re simply reading the comments of a straight male, who in his own slightly pathetic way, is trying not to appear offensive when discussing a topic that he doesn’t immediately relate to. So why do I bother mentioning all of this anyway? I don’t know really. I think I kind of find the scenario a bit humorous myself.

    Did I mention the movie was gay? Yes, it’s VERY gay. 95% of the content involves discussions centered around the trials and tribulations of being a homosexual (mostly from men - a little from women) in our modern-day community and/or the spirited sex lives that accompany the lifestyle of a gay man in Hollywood, California. I can’t speak for the validity of this movie’s rendition, but one thing I found interesting in the film is when one of the characters responds to another person’s comments and says in so many words, “Come on now, we wouldn’t want to re-enforce the stereo-type that all gay men” are exactly as these actors portray them in the film. Either the comment was misguided or a quick hit of purposely placed humorous irony amidst the context of the film’s central theme. I enjoyed several of the characters and they surprisingly came across much more independently developed than I had imagined they would considering the number of people in the pivotal cast. I chuckled occasionally, but the comedy of this film is they type that is much more warm and down-to-earth than the laugh-your-butt-off variety. I have to say that some of the key climaxes in the script are classical components strictly designed to get a reaction out of the viewer. Low points for originality. High points - John Mahoney’s (Frasier) drag queen segment and the cuts to onscreen definitions that get out-of-touch people, like myself, up-to-date with homosexual terminology.

    What else have we come to expect from Columbia TriStar but the clean widescreen anamorphic visuals that they’ve offered up since the beginning. The video is more than satisfactory and frankly, I rarely find problems with the video of more recent DVD releases from major studios (there will always be exceptions of course). While this type of film is not very deserving of a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, there’s absolutely no reason for me to try to argue that a new film utilize anything less than the latest consumer technology. You won’t find yourself growing dizzy by the abundant use of discreet separation here, but you’ll appreciate that all your speakers are being treated as the individuals they are.

    The menu systems are standard, non-flashy stills. A notable option off the main menu would be the option to pick the aspect ratio you wish to view the film in - the options being the widescreen or “Pan and Scam” version. I was agreeable with the deleted section of the disc - in that they were deleted. There were one or two that stood well on their own, but weren’t necessary to complete the story. The deleted scene commentary sported the usual “why was it deleted?” dialogue, but was sometimes useless with the director and producer having nothing to say or going on about the scenes like a couple of giddy school girls as they related their own lives to the onscreen events. When listening to the film’s commentary it becomes clear that the writer modeled the story after his own circle of friends. Rounding out the features on this disc is a filmographies section.

    Broken Hearts Club is a generally good movie that touches upon friendships and how the multi-faceted concept of these relationships can get us through the sludge that life pours over us from time to time. Unfortunately, I think the writer/director concentrated too much on making it a point that this film was about a group of gay men by iterating this position in nearly every other statement. In my opinion, this film could have been more appealing had it concentrated on the innumerable other integral parts of living life rather than getting stuck on the discussion of one’s sexual preference for 90 minutes.


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    Individual Ratings
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    Ratings Based on Scale of 1 - 10 (10 being Best)

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