The Broken Hearts Club

Director: Greg Berlanti
Screenwriters: Greg Berlanti

Institute History

  • 2000 Sundance Film Festival


Every few years, a film appears that portrays the relationships among a group of friends, capturing the exact spirit of the time (Diner, The Return of the Secaucus Seven, and The Big Chill, just to name a few). The tradition continues with The Broken Hearts Club. In this debut feature by Greg Berlanti, the twist is that the characters are all gay.
IN the palm-shaded oasis of West Hollywood, we meet Dennis, a promising photographer. As he prepares to celebrate his twenty-eighth birthday, he laments, "I can't decide if my friends are the best or worse thing that ever happened to me." The gang includes Benji, the punkish innocent with a penchant for gym bodies; Howie, the psychology grad student who thinks too much and lives too little; Cole, the charismatic actor who accidentally keeps stealing everybody's guy; Patrick the cynical quipster, and Taylor, resident drama queen, who, until recently, prided himself on his long-term relationship. Providing sage advice and steady work is Jack, the beloved patriarch whose restaurant is a haven for them all.
If any of the characters sound familiar, they are intended to. Berlanti has risen to the challenge of representing a specific lifestyle in all of its vicissitudes. These characters are real people, funny, flawed and vulnerable, struggling with dating, breakups, jealousies, and just making sense of their lives. When tragedy strikes the group, the friendships are put to the test. In the end, Dennis is left to discover the answer to his own question.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]