Actually, the full title for this flick, released in 2000, is "The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy" but that title is really, well, gay. But since this is a movie about young gay men, I guess it's appropriate, eh?

While the plot is nothing extradordinary for a gay-themed motion picture--young men growing up in Los Angeles, experiencing life, love, and plenty of drama along the way--the A-list cast of young actors is of note. Everyone from Dean Cain (of Lois & Clark fame) to this year's breakout star of the sitcom Scrubs, Zach Braff, is in this flick. Frasier dad John Mahoney is also along for the ride to look silly in drag and to dispense wisdom to the young 'uns, and does a fine job of it, while his life partner (only known as "Purple Guy" because of his penchant for purple track suits) plays piano. The movie is fluffy, to be sure, but, hey, where else are you gonna see Superman mackin' on every cute boy in sight? And while the movie doesn't avoid some dreaded gay cliches--none of the boys has one ounce of body fat, yet they all worry about being ugly and sexually unattractive, for example--the screenwriter and director Greg Berlanti does give his actors some juicy one-liners to toss out there, including my personal favorite, "I feel like I'm in some sort of gay soap opera, and any minute Sue Ellen's going to come in and tell me she's secretly bought controlling interest in my oil company!"

Timothy Olyphant, in the lead role of Dennis, is suitably detached-yet-sensitive, yet most of his own growth in the movie is via vicarously experiencing the life lessons of his friends. So, of course, this makes Dennis a photographer. I swear, gay boys in movies are always either a) photographers, b) jocks, but not for any of the big sports, because, you know, they don't allow no fags in the big sports. So he's always on the swim team or water polo or something aquatic, or c) not just punk but PUNK.

It's not a message movie, it's not that much of a romantic comedy, there's (shocking, but true) hardly any sex scenes or nudity in it and, refreshingly, AIDS is barely mentioned, but the movie's got a sweetness to it that most gay-themed films seem unable to attain. You really feel that all the central characters have known one another for longer than five minutes, are comfortable with and within their circle of friends, and are just trying to get by with a little help from said friends. In fact, it's kinda like a "very special episode" of an all-gay Friends. And Dean Cain's Rachel. That alone is enough for me to recommend the movie to you, gentle reader.

Here's the full production info, taken straight from IMDB:

Directed by 
Greg Berlanti    
  
Writing credits (WGA) 
Greg Berlanti   (written by) 
  
Cast (in credits order) 
Timothy Olyphant ....  Dennis  
Zach Braff ....  Benji  
Dean Cain ....  Cole  
Andrew Keegan ....  Kevin  
Nia Long ....  Leslie  
John Mahoney ....  Jack  
Mary McCormack ....  Anne  
Matt McGrath (I) ....  Howie  
Billy Porter ....  Taylor  
Justin Theroux ....  Marshall  
Ben Weber ....  Patrick  
Robert Arce ....  Purple Guy  
Michael Bergin ....  Kip Rogers  
Chris Payne (I) ....  Larry (as Chris Payne Gilbert)  
Nora Burns ....  Female Shopper  
John Brandon ....  Mickey  
Diane McBain ....  Josephine  
Robert Peters (I) ....  Cop  
Leeza Vinnichenko ....  Russian Woman  
Christopher Wiehl ....  J. Crew Guy (as Chris Wiehl)  
Jennifer Coolidge ....  Betty  
Kerr Smith ....  Catcher  
Ken Kerman ....  Umpire  
Brian Gaskill ....  Brian  
Christian Kane ....  Idaho Guy (as Chris Kane)  
David Youse ....  Barry  
Chris Weitz ....  Director  
rest of cast listed alphabetically  
Matt Reid ....  Gynocologist  
Charlie Weber ....  The 'New Newbie'  
Gary Weeks (II)   
Paul Weitz ....  Assistant Director  
  
Produced by 
Connie Dolphin ....  line producer  
Sam Irvin ....  co-producer  
Mickey Liddell ....  producer  
Joseph Middleton (I) ....  producer  
Julie Plec ....  co-producer  
  
Original music by 
Christophe Beck    
  
Cinematography by 
Paul Elliott (I)    
  
Film Editing by 
Todd Busch    
  
Casting by 
Joseph Middleton (I)    
Michelle Morris (III)   (as Michelle Morris-Gertz)  
  
Production Design by 
Charles Daboub Jr.    
  
Set Decoration by 
Mark Macauley (II)    
  
Costume Design by 
Mas Kondo    
  
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director 
Brian Hennessy ....  first assistant director  
Mitch Kelleher ....  second assistant director  
Thomas Kuk ....  second second assistant director  
  
Art Department 
Scott Bauer ....  property master  
Cindy Kelleher ....  art department photography  
  
Sound Department 
Brad Bryan ....  additional boom operator  
David Chornow ....  sound mixer  
Paula Fairfield ....  sound supervisor  
Jason George (I) ....  supervising sound editor  
William Munroe ....  boom operator  
Carla Murray ....  sound designer
sound effects editor  
  
Other crew 
Louis DiCesare ....  gaffer  
Tim Durr ....  best boy electric  
Jack Skeets Gleeson ....  production assistant  
Matthew R. Hannon ....  post-production supervisor  
Cindy Kelleher ....  still photographer  
Julianne Kelley ....  music supervisor  
Harry C. Muller ....  color timer  
Kevin P. Patterson ....  electrician  
Moulaye Sene ....  electrician  

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