On Valentine’s Day, the series All the times we fell in love arrives on Netflix, the project created by the creator of Elite that convinces more by talking about friendship than love; here is our review.
The creator of Elite go back to work for Netflix with the new series All the times we fell in lovea project with a romantic spirit that will try to take advantage of the Valentine’s Day atmosphere to attract the attention of viewers.
The project, which combines the traditional story of a couple who must face numerous obstacles with a fascinating setting such as that of the world of cinema, had excellent potential on paper which, as we will try to explain in our reviewhas not been exploited in the best way.
Plot of To All the Boys We’ve Been in Love
At the center of the plot of To All the Boys We’ve Fallen in Love is Irene (Georgina Amorós): a young girl who grew up in a provincial town who moves to Madrid to study cinema with the dream of becoming a director. In the city, she quickly makes friends with her classmates and roommates Da (Carlos González) and Jimena (Blanca Martinez).
During the premiere of the new film by a famous director, Romano, Irene and Da meet Julio (Franco Masini), a young man with a complicated life who immediately wins the attention of the young protagonist despite being engaged to Fer (Alberto Salazar). However, the existence of the potential couple is marked by a terrorist attack in which they remain involved, fortunately managing to survive, but which becomes only the first of the events that will leave an indelible mark on the life of the main characters.
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A love story with many, too many, obstacles
The Spanish series created for Netflix moves on two narrative levels: the traditional love story hindered by various elements and the behind-the-scenes representation of the world of cinema. The two elements intertwine, at least initially, quite well, but gradually move away from reality, becoming more and more representations marked by clichés and stereotypes.
The most convincing aspect of the first season, considering that the continuation of the story seems almost obvious after the cliffhanger with which the story ends, is in fact the relationship between the young film students, the way friendships develop and their attempts to make a short film, a project that from their perspective becomes a potential gateway to more prestigious productions and situations.
The interactions between Irene, Da and Jimena are full of irony, simplicity and that good dose of optimism and hope that distinguishes twenty-somethings who try to follow their dreams, even those too big for them. The moments spent in the classroom, the amusing moments on the set where everyone takes their first steps, and the dynamic that leads them to help and support each other infuse All the times we fell in love with warmth and sympathy.
An unconvincing structure
The continuous time jumps to show the various phases of the love story between Irene and Julio, however, lead to showing them grappling with work now adults, when their vision of what surrounds them has become more realistic and less dreamy. The authors fail to find the same brilliant and accurate interpretation, portraying two disillusioned characters marked by their previous experiences without the right nuances, proposing an all too sharp and unmotivated contrast. From the presence of the director who helps launch Julio’s career, who embodies the classic stereotype of the misunderstood beauty who struggles and suffers to demonstrate his talent, to the difficulties faced by Irene in obtaining assignments worthy of his skills on the set, All times we fell in love moves on predictable and not very incisive tracks. Franco Mașini tries to give depth to his character’s inner demons and the dilemmas that torment him by pushing him towards self-destruction, but the material available to him is rather fragile. Next to him, Georgina Amorós possesses the right amount of freshness to outline the portrait of a young woman who lives experiences distant from the reality in which she grew up, entering a world that often makes her doubt her own abilities and undermines her hopes. . The two interpreters support the narrative structure as much as possible, not always succeeding.
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A series that effectively portrays friendship, minus love
The love story, an element that should be central and incisive, fails to convince from the beginning to the end of the season, leaving the doubt that the material conceived for the project would have been more incisive as a film than the dilated times of a TV series . The sentimental triangle between Irene, Julio and Fer appears justified in the story pieces relating to when the characters are twenty years old and begin to understand what they want in their lives. The physical attraction between Irene and Julio, their impulsivity and the inability to maintain rational intentions for a long time, however, seem less and less justified and it becomes difficult to understand their motivations in the “present”, when they should be (although physically there is no is a significant transformation), closer to 40 than adolescence.
The continuous approach and distance of the two protagonists thus becomes repetitive and rather unjustified, between crises at the worst moments and misunderstandings kept silent for too long. The time jumps, which should give rhythm to the story, also make it difficult to really delve into the psychological situation in which the two young people find themselves in the various years they are shown on the screens, reducing the emotional impact of the often very dramatic events and situations.
However, the Spanish Netflix series is able to engage and keep the audience’s attention thanks to the representation of friendship, a true constant in the story. If your sentimental partner never becomes a presence that offers unconditional support and understanding, the same cannot be said of friends who organize rescue plans, forgive, encourage and help, even managing to overcome misunderstandings and quarrels, without judging and showing all the open-mindedness and empathy. The scenes between friends are those that make the series particularly pleasant and engaging, giving rhythm, heart and lightness to the story.
On the other hand, despite having a certain importance in the unfolding of the story, the parents of the boys remain in the background, appearing almost at odds, passing from the warmth and concern of Irene’s parents to the inability to really understand their own son, distracted by other situations, as happens in Julio’s family. Between ups and downs, the show nonetheless exploits as much as possible the experience of the artistic and technical team who create a season in which the musical choices, the photography (even in the night moments between parties and outdoor scenes) and the editing are good level.
Every time we’ve fallen in love, as also exposed in our review, the opportunity to tell a love story without particular time limits suffers more than expected. The dynamics between the two protagonists become progressively less and less convincing, unfortunately going hand in hand with the realism of the representation of the world of cinema.
However, what gives strength to the narrative and to the series is the way in which the importance of friendship and the bonds that are formed outside of one’s family are depicted on the screen. The presence of Da and Jimena instills joy and emotion in the all too predictable and traditional sentimental dilemmas that characterize Irene’s story. With an ending that clearly lays the foundations for a second season, all that remains is to hope for a more honest and less stereotypical continuation of relationships and emotions, more in line with the maturity that should have been reached by the protagonists in some stages of the story.
Because we like it
- The setting in the world of cinema was a fascinating element, even if it was used in an unconvincing way.
- The representation of friendship is realistic and at times exciting.
- The dialogues, in several moments, are brilliant and funny.
- The cast manages to give depth to their characters.
- The story quickly slips into stereotypes and clichés.
- The triangle that forms between Irene, Julio and Fer is not constructed in a convincing way.
- Time jumps are not handled in the best way.
- The narration seems to suffer more than it should for the space at its disposal.