The Broken Hearts Club

The Broken Hearts Club (2000)

“I thought all it would take is meeting the right person, but there’s so much more to it. I have to make more of my life – it’s the only way to have something to give back to someone.” – Dennis

I realize this movie isn’t a new release or even recent, but it’s one of my favorites and I can’t believe I haven’t talked about it here. Back in 2000, it was one of the queer films that portrayed gay people as just people going through normal issues. It wasn’t about the strife of coming out, the horror of AIDS, or civil rights. It was just about a group of friends.

And it was even sort of meta in that the film poked at itself when Howie says, “Imagine if they made a movie about us – about our group of friends!” Jack comments later about what would they do if they weren’t gay because they wouldn’t have anything to talk about. Gay gay gay!

But that’s not what the film is about. These friends are like a family in many ways. The beginning and end of the film are about friendship and what it means to each of these people, and how it makes them feel ok, even as gay people often didn’t.

With a title like Broken Hearts, we know there will be a few. Each character has their own, different arc with relationships so we see them from all different angles. They all have their moments when they make a realization about their life or themselves that take them to the next level.

I like that in this film, it isn’t about finding that right person but about being your best self so you can be with that person. And these aren’t about just “gay” relationships, they’re relationships that all people have. Perhaps that is what brought this film success when it did.

It also helped that Greg Berlanti wrote and directed it, and notable actors like Timothy Olyphant, Dean Cain, and John Mahoney were a part of it too (just so much younger – although I’m not sure Dean Cain ages like a normal human). I remember watching this film many years ago, and it’s fun seeing what all these people have done since then. I guess Dean Cain’s agents were wrong to advise him not to play a gay role…

I’m posting this right around Valentine’s Day, and I’m sure a good old queer rom-com would have fit the bill better. But I can’t think of a better film that tells us to be honestly and authentically ourselves so that we can have the relationships that we want and deserve.

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