If you’re into soapy telenovela shenanigans, then All For Love has you covered with likable leads, all the right elements, and a gargantuan season.
This review of All For Love, aka Amar y Vivir, is spoiler-free.
Netflix is starting to carve out something of a space for itself in the telenovela market, and since we’ve covered a few here, the tell-tale signs are readily apparent in their latest, All For Love, or Amar y Vivir, a remake of a Colombian classic that ran from 1988-1990. We have the soapy production quality, the heavy-handed music, the over-exaggerated reactions, the cheesy slow motion, and the absurd episode length – it’s pipped by The Queen of Flow, which had a gargantuan 80-episode season, but All For Love still provides a respectable 69.
The premise is, essentially, a love story: A penniless farmer goes to Bogotá in search of his missing sister, he falls for an aspiring singer, and they both get tangled up in organized crime. Simple, then, and full of all the requisite elements, but the key here is chemistry: the singer, Irene (Ana María Estupiñán), is a charming dreamer who helps out with her parents’ fruit stand (Julio Sánchez plays the father, Salvadore, and Alina Lozano plays the mother, Magola); Joaquín Herrera (Carlos Torres), meanwhile, is on the hunt for his sister, Alba (Valeria Galvis), who was ‘napped by some unsavory types following a typical dispute over land and such. Both characters have a fair helping of family strife and other attendant personal issues, and crucially, they’re both likable, relatable, and believable together.
This is what keeps All For Love ticking along, although whether it does so for 69 episodes is anyone’s guess (full disclosure: we didn’t watch them all.) If you’re into this sort of thing you’re in luck, though, since Amar y Vivir truly embodies this sort of thing and provides basically a lifetime’s supply of it to escape into. It’s very easy to buy into the central characters and their respective plights, though, which is a bonus on top.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.