A journey of self-love and making your younger self proud despite the ghosts of your past.
This review of Netflix’s Sounds Like Love contains spoilers.
Netflix’s Sounds Like Love brings us into the complicated life of 29-year-old Maca (María Valverde), a social media marketing wiz who doesn’t get the recognition she deserves from her boss, Pipa. Pipa is one of Spain’s top influencers but is also a nasty woman with an attitude. She’s not even a ‘top’ influencer, just your average one. Our protagonist, Maca, wishes she could be more confident and wishes she cared less about what others thought about her. Add a heartbreak to the mix, and she’s too far gone.
Every time she attempts to hook up, her ex of 5 years, Leo, is constantly at the back of her mind. ‘He’s my f*cking romantic trauma’, she says as she blames society for the weight of expectations surrounding romantic relationships — ‘they’re the ones that got us girls to believe in fairy tales.’
From being an influencer’s assistant — working on brand management, endorsements, influencer marketing, photography, content creation — and much more, Pipa doesn’t deserve her. Maca herself notes that she only started working for Pipa when she didn’t believe in herself. At the influencers award ceremony in Madrid, Maca bumps into Raquel (on her way to a date), one of the top influencers in Spain, and tells her that “social media agencies would be fighting over her” and that she just needs to believe in herself and stop getting exploited by Pipa. If only she listened, after leaving the bathroom, Pipa degrades her outfit in front of her esteemed industry colleagues.
Embarrassed by Pipa, she leaves the event and unexpectedly notices Raquel on a date with her ex, Leo and this is where it starts. She runs across Madrid to avoid seeing Leo. As she makes it home, she thinks of the time when they first met, when she was so joyful about falling in love, and more. “This was the deepest and most passionate story of my life”, she recalls. As she goes down memory lane, she mentions that all the movies that young girls tend to watch are false and ruined her expectations. “All the happiness movies had promised me seemed real and eternal”, the memories of her time with Leo hurt her, with such an intense connection spanning 5 years — Maca is right to be annoyed.
One day, he disappeared and it hurt her. Maca was left stuck thinking that “happiness would be impossible without him”, which is the issue at hand, putting your entire happiness into one person. But then again, she’s still at liberty to feel upset because of how he ruined their relationship by not communicating. But as Carrie says in Sex and the City: “Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with”, after all the power of friendship was crucial as her best friends, Jimena and Adriana, come to the rescue.
‘Leo was an important person in my life and the origin of some of my problems.’ Sounds Like Love was a great depiction of love through Maca’s eyes. I’m sure that there are many Macas in the world, disappointed in how the expectations of love and romance are depicted in film but aren’t always a reality for some. We also come to learn how Leo wasn’t the nicest to her (obviously) as they meet at an event. Since he’s dating Raquel, she breaks the news to her, wanting to save her from potential heartbreak. ‘He smashed my heart against the floor, he danced on it, and then trampled all over it until he pulverized it…. he discarded me like trash and ruined my future,” she mentions and tells Raquel to run and never look back.
The next morning at her apartment, she receives a wreath from Leo which takes a jab at her dignity. Annoyed, she disrupts one of his lectures — he’s a Literature professor — and stirred the conversation about love in the lecture theatre. Now, that was embarrassing but she was able to craft the conversation about love so well and got positive reception from the women in the lecture. ‘We are confused and carrying the weight of an impossible construct’, Maca says. In agreement, a student mentions ‘the romantic pressure is a narrative that makes us believe we need the first charming a*****e we come across.’ It’s clear to see why she’s annoyed, after all, he did disrespect her and has been talking down on her (as if it was her fault she suffered following their breakup) since they reunited in Madrid.
Long story short, her romantic tragedy with Leo is frustrating and childish (but she is in the right) — he left her whilst they were planning to build a life together but comes back out of nowhere! With disagreements, here and there, a long-term ex is trying to upend her life. But of course, they share the classic kiss in the rain.
Netflix has been adding more romantic comedies and I’m here for it and with Sounds Like Love, there are stellar quotes that can always be used, that alone is my reason for giving it 5 stars. Shakespeare could never. In particular, the film isn’t different from your standard romantic movie — there’s just more charm, exciting conflict, and climaxes along the way.