Juana Macías' smart filmmaking helps subvert the many tropes of the rom-com genre in a film that's eminently watchable even if it doesn't break any new ground
Maca, Adriana and Jime are three best friends trying to lean onto each other while they deal with complicated relationships from the past and the present. Maca, barely past a devastating breakup with Leo, is a fashion assistant to a super-popular yet mean social media influencer Pipa. Adriana is in an unhappy marriage with Julian and is struggling to find any meaning in her relationship. Jimena can't seem to get over her dead boyfriend Santi and latches onto men with the same traits, only to be shattered later. Sounds Like Love is a tale where these women finally embrace their realities and move on.
Sounds Like Love is the perfect, critic-proof Netflix watch. It's like comfort food - it's nothing earth-shattering or unique but is still satisfying within its limitations, familiarity. Three women from privileged backgrounds getting to wear the best clothes, making it to the best parties, in the middle of messed-up relationships, dealing with handsome men who ultimately turn out to be jerks and a tale of self-discovery squeezed in between - that's the film in a nutshell.
The three lead characters are colourful and messy in their own little ways. Maca is equally confused about work and her personal life. Her boss treats her like toilet paper though she's convinced that's the best for her. When her ex Leo returns, she has the hots for him again despite the man's notoriousness in the past. Adriana rediscovers her sexuality in a three-way relationship but is embarrassed about admitting to it publicly. Jimena, unable to process her boyfriend's death, lives in a cocoon populated with his memories and refuses to move on.
The film may discuss men, libido, lust, relationships but is ultimately about self-love, acceptance and the courage to accept ground realities. The women have an identity, talk much beyond love lives while the sisterhood through their thick and thin makes for pleasant viewing. The portrayal of social media influencers is slightly exaggerated and cynical, throwing a glimpse of how their feet are barely on the ground. In terms of writing, it's disappointing that most of the men (be it Leo, Julian, Luigi or Samuel) in the film lack depth (though it's an issue with most films featuring female friendships).
Juana Macias' filmmaking has many shades of brilliance, right from the way she stages the conversations between Marca's alter-egos, the verbal duels between different characters from the past and the present in a single frame, and presents two alternative endings in the climax. The slick edits, innovative cinematography ensure a seamless flow between timelines. Sounds Like Love is easy on the eye, with the flashiness perfectly in sync with the characters' personalities.
María Valverde, Elisabet Casanovas and Susana Abaitua share terrific on-screen camaraderie as three inseparable buddies who don't judge each other come what may. Maria and Susana have better-etched roles among the three and the actresses do a fine job in mirroring the vulnerabilities, conflicts experienced by modern-day women. Miri Pérez-Cabrero is fantastic as the heartless, elite influencer Pipa and gets the tone and meanness perfectly right. Eva Ugarte's warmth shines through in her screen presence though Claudia Galán doesn't get to do much. Álex González fits the bill for the part of a hunk who's a jerk with his woman. Artur Busquets is passable in a brief role.
Sounds Like Love is just the film to savour on a lazy evening with a warm cup of coffee on your bed. The beats, the characters, the conflicts may all feel familiar but this package gets its mix right and has its heart in the right place. The film loyally follows a template - surreal locations, equally gorgeous women, pleasant music and a happy ending to top it all.