That’s Amor packs all the standard ingredients of the typical rom com. It’s not hard to envision rom com writers going to the same grocery and picking through the same aisle of subplots.
Fortunately, originality isn’t as key to rom coms compared to chemistry between the leads, likable supporting characters and a script that avoids being goofy.
That’s Amor might come off like warmed over leftovers, but it’s a delectable delight for genre fans.
Sofia (Riley Dandy) is in the midst of a crummy week. After getting fired from her job, Sofia finds her boyfriend sleeping around and her emotional pain turns physical when she falls and breaks her ankle.
It’s a good thing Sofia can rely on her mother, Lainie (Nancy Lenehan). While Lainie can be a little forceful she’s not overbearing and obnoxious — a key for the parental role in these films.
With Sofia content to wallow in bed in her misery, Lainie enrolls them in a couple’s cooking class led by the gregarious Chef Guillermo (Daniel Edward Mora). And hey, Guillermo just so happens to have an unattached nephew, Matias (Isaac Gonzalez Rossi), who dreams of opening up his own restaurant when he returns to Spain.
- The Redeem Team review
- Andor – Nobody’s Listening review S1 E9
- Marvel Legends Maggott review – BAF Bonebreaker wave
- Blackout review
While Matias is clearly smitten, Sofia isn’t as interested. She’s got a slightly stereotypical view on Spanish guys, which might have made more sense if her cheating ex was also of Spanish heritage. Since Sofia’s defroster is on low mode it’s up to her best friend, Olivia (Kimberley Drummond, American Horror Stories), Lainie and Matias’ cousin, Viviana (Arlene Tur).
Director Shaun Paul Piccinino (A California Christmas) opts to keeping things simple. Beyond the occasional physical comedy stunt, Piccinino is content to put the romance on a nice slow burn and spend time on the characters. The one downside to this approach is the supporting characters sometimes prove more fun than Sofia and Mattias.
At times, watching Guillermo excitedly break down a new recipe is just as exciting as the casual flirting between the two. In fairness, the dishes Guillermo whips up look tantalizing and it’s advisable not to watch the film on an empty stomach.
Ali Afshar, John Ducey and Tiffany Dupont are credited with the script, which could do more to give Sofia a greater spotlight. Too much of her character growth comes late in the film in a montage instead of playing out in the second half. Early on, it’s hard to see why Matias would find Sofia so appealing as she’s in such a snarky, crummy mood in their initial encounters.
Dandy and Rossi have good chemistry best embodied in Sofia and Matias’ magical first night. It almost seemed like Piccinino could have leaned into that chemistry further to sell the romance even stronger.
That’s Amor doesn’t add anything new to the rom concoction, but the cast delivers on their roles well and the brisk run time keeps it moving.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Photo Credit: Netflix