The Heartbreak Agency (2024)

The Heartbreak Agency (2024)

PG-13

netflix

This anti-romance romance fumbles its potential by being exactly like the genre movies it derides

6.5

Movie

Germany
German
Comedy, Drama, Romance
2024
SHIREL PELEG
Arash Marandi, Charleen Deetz, Cora Trube
96 min

TLDR

I have news for filmmakers who diss romantic comedies while fully using the genre’s tricks and tropes: you don’t get to have your cake and eat it too!

What it's about

When a womanizing journalist gets dumped, he confronts his ex’s therapist, a so-called “heartbreak specialist” who has wildly different ideas on love, sex, and relationships.

The take

Two people with different thoughts on love discover a common ground: they’re both anti-romantics. Realizing they got off on the wrong foot, they spend more time with each other and bond over realistic ideas of modern love. At one point, Maria (Rosalie Thomass) and Karl (Laurence Rupp) even diss romantic comedies for their cheesy music and naive understanding of fate and destiny. Their conversations are engaging and thoughtful, even and especially when they oppose one another. But just when you think you’re watching something smart and novel, Maria and Karl fall into the same implausible trappings they claim to hate. Suddenly, the film turns soft and transforms into the romantic comedy it once criticized. If only it had pushed into anti-romance territory even further and allowed Maria and Karl to truly hash out their differences, thorns and tension and all, then this could have been a truly interesting romantic film. Instead, it’s a standard romantic comedy that’s worse off for pretending to be above the genre, even though it’s really not.

What stands out

That one ridiculous wedding scene. If it wasn’t gonna go all in the anti-romance take, the film should’ve just embraced its rom-com structure and leaned on more cute scenes like this one.

Comments

I loved this sweet movie.

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