Film Review: Language of a Broken Heart

The rom-com genre keeps scraping bottom, and this particular annoyance is about as low as you can get.

Here we go again with yet another instantly flushable cinematic bottle of chilled white whine. This writer’s eyes glaze over as he recounts the plot centered on another Caucasian, oh-so-sensitive male writer: Nick, played by Juddy Talt (the writer responsible for this atrocious script), trying desperately to cure himself of a devastating break-up.

Derivative, nauseatingly twee and completely uninspired, Language of a Broken Heart has an early scene in which the distraught Nick, riding a bike, is nearly hit by a car, and you may find yourself wishing it had really happened, there is so little to like about him. He’s condescending toward the fans of his romance books (mostly portrayed as eminent losers), insensitive to his small-town mother (the great stage actress Julie White, terribly wasted) to whom he returns when the mean ole city proves too much for him, and such an overall downer that it’s small wonder every woman in his life has dumped his pathetic ass. “I’m happiest when I’m depressed,” he admits to his BFF with the noxious name of Cubby (Ethan Cohn), and there you have it—the umpteenth bad filmmakers’ version of Annie Hall. Rookie director Rocky Powell unfortunately matches his screenwriter step for moribund step in his clueless choices, which include the most ineptly staged club scene ever caught on camera.

The film is full of ridiculous, cutesy contrivances. Needing a place to stay after his girlfriend kicks him out, Nick, although he is a successful novelist, somehow must crash in the pink and girly bedroom belonging to the little daughter of his tiresome, advice-doling editor (Steven Anderson). The greatest mystery here is the utter hubris which would make Talt, just as bad an actor as he is a writer, think anyone would be interested in any of this. (He’s also toweringly tall, which just means there is more of him to dislike.) The women he writes are merely decorative yet empty shells, be they the frosty Brit ball-buster Violet (Lara Pulver, showing zero reason why anyone should be besotted by her) who dumped him, or the waifish lass Emma who saves him. As Emma, who is supposedly more compatibly endowed with brains and heart than looks, Kate French appears in a kooky hat and glasses which are about as convincing a de-beautifier as those specious specs were on Grace Kelly, trying so hard to be drab in The Country Girl.