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Film / The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy

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Benji, Howie, Dennis, and Patrick.

"There isn't a movie in the cinema canon that depicts a gay character that we would aspire to be. What are our options... noble, suffering AIDS victims, the friends of noble suffering AIDS victims, sex addicts, common street hustlers and the newest addition to the lot, stylish confidantes to lovelorn women. Just once I would like to see someone who is not sick, hasn't been laid in about three months and is behind on his student loans."

Congratulations, Howie. You're in one.

A 2000 film revolving around the lives of a group of gay friends in Hollywood. Despite the subtitle, the movie is more of a Dramedy than romantic comedy. The intersecting plot lines revolve around:

  • Dennis (Timothy Olyphant) - a photographer beginning to realize there's more to life than one night stands
  • Benji (Zach Braff) - a young man perpetually attracted to the wrong men
  • Patrick (Ben Weber) - a cynic who thinks himself the least desireable of his friends
  • Cole (Dean Cain) - an actor with a habit of breaking hearts (though he never means to)
  • Howie (Matt Mc Grath) - a student, prone to overanalysis and self-doubt
  • Taylor (Billy Porter) - the only one in a long-term relationship it doesn't last
  • Kevin (Andrew Keegan) - Benji's coworker who gets (inadvertently) stolen by Cole, and then begins the process of discovering he's gay. Eventually falls for Dennis.

They are all tied together by their mentor and father figure, Jack (John Mahoney), who owns the restaurant most of them work at and provides them with advice and a shoulder to cry on.

This film provides examples of:

  • All Lesbians Want Kids: Patrick's sister Ann and her partner Leslie want him to be their sperm donor (with Leslie as the biological mother, of course).
  • Ambiguously Gay - Howie thinks he looks straight, but in a humorous scene at a Linens & Things, his friend Patrick takes him around to random strangers and asks them whether they think poor Howie is gay or straight. Only one hesitates, and when she asks him to cross his arms (prompting a pose right out of Vogue or Cosmo), she immediately agrees with everyone else. Gay it is!
    • Also Kevin: "Well, here's to your first OGT. Obviously Gay Trait. Mine are: love of The Carpenters, culinary interests, and intense fear of blood sports."
  • Book Ends - the film begins and ends with the same statement, said by two different characters.
    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.
  • The Casanova/Chivalrous Pervert - Cole to a certain extent. Though he's a relentless flirt, and his reputation for stealing boyfriends is legendary, he doesn't actually mean to do it. He's just so naturally charming guys can't help falling for him. He doesn't seem to realize how he hurts people until he gets his heart broken by a deeply closeted co-star.
  • Deadpan Snarker - Patrick
    "Taylor's boyfriend broke up with him from Hawaii, Howie went home with Marshall... again, Cole slept with Benji's quasi-boyfriend, and my sister ends the evening with a plea for my sperm. It's like one big gay soap opera! I keep waiting for Sue Ellen to wander into my living room and tell me that she's secretly bought controlling interest in my oil company!"
    • Also Howie. "Dumb gorgeous people should not be allowed to use literature when competing in the pickup pool. It's like bald people wearing hats... it's deceiving."
  • Drag Queen - Jack, kind of. He dons the dress to sing show tunes, but one of the other characters says he makes a mockery of the drag queen tradition by not buying into the over-the-top rituals of it
  • Gym Bunny - the men Benji's attracted to
  • Heroic BSoD - Taylor spends much of the movie in one after his breakup, including a creepily humorous scene where he's watching an old movie but keeps replaying the part where a Woman Scorned kills her husband and his lover.