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Review: Story rings false in ‘Language of a Broken Heart’

In “Language of a Broken Heart,” we are asked to believe that romance novelist Nick (played by the film’s screenwriter, Juddy Talt) knows how to write with authority about love without any firsthand knowledge of its real-life workings.

It’s a bit of a leap to think that an obsessive guy whose idea of courtship involves repeating “marry me, marry me, marry me” on the first date would be able to win enough women’s hearts to climb the bestseller lists. But then, we’re also told that Nick’s own heart is just too big for most women. That information comes by way of Nick’s mom (Julie White), who takes peculiar pleasure in having her son seeing her naked, which might partly explain — we’re just spitballing here — Nick’s troubles with the opposite sex.

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But then, to the film’s thinking and despite all evidence to the contrary, Nick isn’t the one with the problem. No, the onus is on all the women left cold by his full-press charm assault. That makes Nick’s meet-cute romance with adorable bookstore owner Emma (Kate French) ring all the more false. If his moping didn’t put her off, his curt dismissal of William Faulkner (“impossible”) would be enough for her to kick him to the curb.

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The film, directed by first-timer Rocky Powell, has a different happy ending in mind, one that adheres to rom-com formulas in a manner that should give it a second life on basic cable. Just don’t expect to fall hard for it.

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“Language of a Broken Heart.”

Rated R for some sexual references.

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Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes.

At Laemmle’s Playhouse 7, Pasadena.

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