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The Broken Hearts Club

The Broken Hearts Club

First seen in a West Hollywood eatery, some of the gay characters in The Broken Hearts Club converse in a manner depicted in Barry Levinson's Diner.  Going for a moving story designed to appeal to any sexual preference, director Greg Berlanti still limits his cast with a sitcom like melodramatic tale of a male gay clique. They philosophize and The Broken Hearts Club often bogs itself down in a loquacious streak which doesn't deliver.

Berlanti asserts the notion of family through friendship among the gay buddies who are trying to find meaning in their lives.  Among them are three roommates, Dennis, an aspiring photographer (Timothy Olyphant), a black drama queen Taylor (Billy Porter), and the actor who's just landed a small role, Cole (Dean Cain).  Discussions make light of their desires and a self conscious nature that is typical but perhaps too much in the "me" generation.

With its definition scene starters like "Meanwhile,"  "Gay Man's Therapy" and "Five Months Later," The Broken Hearts Club feels episodic.  With its many parts, perhaps a stage version could have been more focused to give meaning to gay people dealing with issues that everyone deals with.  The title also refers to a softball team that is made up of the cadre, coached by their father figure, Jack, a piquant John Mahoney.

In the glossy, but bland updating of Boys in the Band, Andrew Keegan is about to come out.  Ben Weber's Patrick, dour about his looks and not eager to help with the family plans for his sister Anne, a blithe Mary McCormack and her longtime companion, Leslie, an abrasive Nia Long, in a side plot to lure women.

While Berlanti has moments to watch with Cain and a rival softball catcher and Jack's gay and average discussion with Patrick putting things in perspective, The Broken Hearts Club could have used some mending in its outlook on the perceptions of its characters.

The Broken Hearts Club

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