We’ve heard the story before; first time feature director delivers a winning debut film on a modest budget and then goes on to helm a mighty pricy franchise film. Whether it be a potential box office juggernaut or another film outside of the studio system, let’s just make sure that the directing door stays wide open for The Broken Hearts Gallery writer-director, Natalie Krinsky.
The film features a wildly charming performance from Geraldine Viswanathan as Lucy, a young woman living in New York City who has a hard time letting go of her exes. Instead of moving on, she’s got a habit of keeping a little memento from each relationship, often items her roommates (Molly Gordon and Phillipa Soo) deem trash. She’s very reluctant to throw any of it away, but comes up with a use for these items that could help herself forge forward while also encouraging others to do the same. Lucy starts an art gallery for these items called the Broken Hearts Gallery.
Krinsky got off to a very strong start with this one, with the screenplay scoring a spot on The Black List, a list of the most liked unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. The thing is though, that happened 10 years ago, and while The Black List did help her writing career, it couldn’t get The Broken Hearts Gallery a green light for production:
“I wrote it when I was in my mid-20s, a struggling writer, trying to make it in LA and it opened a lot of doors for me, and it came really close a few times, but it never quite came over that hump. And I think sometimes, for your readers and viewers who are screenwriters, you know that sometimes a script is like an ex-boyfriend or an ex; you just have to put it away and move on. And I had done that.”
However, things changed when the company No Trace Camping approached Krinsky with interest in finally making it happen. “It was like an ex begging me to get back together. I was like, ‘Okay. It’s not gonna be different this time, but I’ll humor you!’” The thing is though, this time really was different:
“I did it and I dove in, and we had a lot of conversations about what I thought the movie looked like and felt like, and when I was done, they kinda said, ‘Why don’t you direct it?’ And I was like, ‘What do I have to do? Do I have to make a reel or act it out for you? What do you need me to do?’ And they said, ‘No, you know exactly what it is. Just say yes. You can do it.’ And that’s so rare for a female director in Hollywood! I said, ‘Okay, well thank you for letting me know what it feels like to be a straight white guy. I accept. And I will do it.’ And maybe my next movie’s like, Jurassic Park. TBD.”
No Trace Camping’s faith in Krinsky wasn’t misplaced. Not only does The Broken Hearts Gallery have an infectious vibrancy, but it also manages to tick the romantic comedy boxes we know and love while still staying true to Krinsky’s sensibilities and the essence of the script that was there since day one; Lucy is a character who “asks the world to love her not despite the fact that she’s weird, but because she’s weird.”
If you couldn’t already tell, I highly recommend checking out The Broken Hearts Gallery when you have the chance. You can give my full conversation with Krinsky a watch at the top of this article and click here for my chat with the Broken Hearts Gallery leads, Viswanathan and Dacre Montgomery.
- Krinsky revisits having this script on The Black List; getting the support she needed from the company No Trace Camping.
- How much did the script change from The Black List to finished feature?
- Krinsky talks about having a great collaboration with her casting team.
- What inspired the choice to make Molly Gordon’s character obsessed with death?
- Krinsky discusses the standout dynamic between Gordon, Geraldine Viswanathan and Phillipa Soo.
- What did Krinsky keep from the set of Broken Hearts Gallery?