It’s innocuous and enjoyable enough, but the way That’s Amor rigidly clings to romcom cliches prevents it from being anything more than a mild diversion.
This review of the Netflix film That’s Amor (2022) does not contain spoilers.
How many romcoms are actually on Netflix? I have no idea, I don’t think anyone has any idea, I don’t think even Netflix has any idea because it must be a truly gargantuan number, far too many to count. And this number gets increasingly gargantuan by the week as more and more superfluous, cliched romcoms are released to little fanfare or marketing by the Netflix algorithm.
They just continue coming out, filling the empty corners of Netflix’s server space, discovered only by those looking for superfluous, cliched romcoms. This is not an indictment of Netflix or those who like these kinds of films, but it provides the right context to look at the most recent addition to the gargantuan number:
That’s Amor (2022), directed by Shaun Paul Piccinio from a screenplay by Ali Afshar and John Ducey, tells the story of graphic designer Sofia who tries to get her life back on track after her boyfriend cheats on her and she is fired from her job on the same day.
After a very familiar scene where she is fired by her eccentric boss and after another very familiar scene where she catches her boyfriend cheating on her and then immediately falls down the stairs and breaks her ankle, Sofia (played reliably by Riley Dandy) moves in with her mom for the summer and tries to restart her personal and professional life.
When Sofia’s mom, Lainie (played by stalwart character actor Lainie), senses her daughter is in a rut, she signs her up for a cooking class. It’s here that Sofia meets the handsome Spanish chef Matias. I think you can probably guess where this goes…
…but I don’t think this is necessarily an issue. Part of the reason people love romcoms, and the reason Netflix keeps pumping them out, is that they are deeply familiar and digestible. They’re comfort food.
However, the fundamental issue with That’s Amor is the lack of any real conflict. Sofia and Matias are thrust together easily, they immediately like each other, and there are essentially no obstacles in their way.
Yes, Matias has a girlfriend, but she exists mostly on an Instagram page, and Matias seems indifferent about her at best. Part of the joy of watching romcoms is desperately routing for the two leads to overcome all the obstacles and get together, but when there’s little conflict, it’s hard to care.
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