How Sony has sold an offbeat romantic comedy.
The Broken Hearts Gallery, new this week in whatever theaters are available, stars Geraldine Viswanathan as Lucy, a young woman getting over her latest romantic misstep. Lucy has a tendency to memorialize past relationships with some sort of souvenir, something her friends and roommates find odd. After a chance meeting with Nick (Dacre Montgomery) and because of her job as an art gallery assistant, Lucy is inspired to take all those leftovers and open a pop-up space showing them off. With social media driving interest, others begin to bring their own relationship mementos and add them to the display at The Broken Hearts Gallery.
Written and directed by Natalie Krinsky, the movie has received a campaign from Sony that has leaned into Lucy’s emotion-driven need to express herself as well as how her efforts to finally find some closure to those relationships might put her in a better position when her friendship with Nick begins to evolve. Decent, if not glowing, reviews have given it a 75 percent “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Lucy and Nick gaze at each other on the first poster (by marketing agency Works Adv), released in mid-June. They’re both sitting on a beat up couch that, for some reason, is placed right in the middle of a New York street. That’s probably meant to help establish the story setting and overall aesthetic, which is very much street-level neighborhood NYC. Further hinting at the story comes from the title treatment, rendered here as a neon sign, and the copy “There’s an art to letting go.”
The first trailer (8.3 million views on YouTube) came out in late June and immediately shows how Lucy is having a hard time getting over her most recent failed relationship, something that has her roommates concerned. When she finally does agree to reenter the world it doesn’t go very well, but she does meet Nick, who we find out has dreams of opening a boutique hotel. Lucy agrees to help him with the art, which turns into a community project of memorabilia from past loves. Things progress from there, of course, as their personal and professional relationships both mature and take form.
A second, short, final trailer (1.4 million views on YouTube) came out just last week. It hits most of the same big beats as the first one, just without some of the details and other moments. The message is similar, though, that this is about Lucy coming to terms with her past relationships and doing something creative while doing so.
Online and Social
Sony’s official website for the film has a pretty standard collection of the marketing materials, including a synopsis, small photo gallery and trailers.
Advertising and Promotions
Sony’s release date for the film has been a moving target given the uncertain theatrical situation, with an early-August timeframe being the latest move, at least before the movie was pulled from the schedule entirely in July.
In August Sony announced the film would have its premiere as one of its drive-in features hosted and screened on the studio lot. That premiere, sponsored by Porsche and Atom Tickets, was held in early September with the cast and filmmakers among others in attendance.
Clips released over the last few weeks include Lucy meeting Nick, Lucy establishing the idea for her makeshift gallery and her friends trying to get her to let go of the detritus she’s accumulated from past relationships.
Both Viswanathan and Montgomery shot a special promo for Regal Cinemas.
Media and Press
There were a couple interviews with Krinsky where she talked about how long she’s been developing this project and the work she’s put into it as well as how she approached creating an unconventional romantic comedy that is coming out in the middle of a pandemic.
Viswanathan was interviewed about taking on a leading role as well as how she feels her career is going so far and more.
One thing that comes through strongly in the campaign is how it seeks to add something fresh to the rom-com genre by frankly discussing female sexuality without sacrificing emotions. In fact the intersection of the two seems to be the main theme of the campaign as we see Lucy navigate how she’s feeling about her past relationships and the desire for something physical. All of that gets channeled into her art.
What’s being sold here is a character-driven rom-com, one that has the added benefit of featuring characters and individuals that still aren’t commonly represented on-screen. It’s all the fresher for it.