Movie Review: Language of a Broken Heart
Austin360.com | Austin American-Statesman
Nick doesn’t know the first thing about women or love, but thousands of romantics continue to buy and obsess over his novel “Language of a Broken Heart.” That’s the premise of the new movie starring Juddy Talt.
It would be easier to sympathize with Nick’s numerous failed relationships if he weren’t such an idol to his readers. Instead, the screenplay by Talt is muddled with clichés and lacks conviction.
Filmed in and around Dallas and directed by Rocky Powell, the romantic comedy chronicles Nick’s love life and status as a best-selling author, beginning with his most recent heartbreak from his fiancé, Violet (Laura Pulver), who throws him out of their New York apartment when she grows bored and is caught cheating with another man.
Over the course of the film, Nick travels from one heartbreak to the next, sharing his first painful love experience in elementary school to give a glimpse into the hopeless romantic he has always been.
Although his desire to find true love is admirable, you can’t help but pity the guy who tries too hard: buying flowers regularly, making mix CDs professing his feelings and even resorting to saying I love you much too soon.
It becomes abundantly clear why women leave him : He’s possessive and focuses on people who seem not to be interested in him.
After repeated scenes of moping and misery, Nick decides the only way to move forward in love is to revisit his hometown and return to the only woman he has ever left, his mother Mimi (Julie White). But it’s unclear whether he is seeking his mother’s comfort or just an escape. While there, he renews his relationships with his family, friends and meets Emma, (Kate French) a free spirit who not-so-accidentally takes his bag at the airport, resulting in a face-to-face meeting and a love connection.
Nick soon learns from Emma that he allows the women in his life to get in the way of his own ambitions. Despite charming characters and a relatable plot, the film is weakened when Nick continues to belabor his pathetic state with no indication of a change of action. We get it; he’s depressed, hopeless and forever obsessed with Violet. But it gets to be too much.
While the acting is subpar, the strength of the film lies in its discussion of how to prevent mistakes and invest in those who might return your love. The writing is effective in drawing in the audience, but by the end, it becomes clear Talt belongs behind the camera rather than in front of it.
Don’t expect to fall head-over-heels for this tale of a nice guy finishing last, but you’ll appreciate its quirks, insight and humor.