by Carmina Masoliver

When I first saw Soltera Codiciada advertised on Netflix, its title was translated into English from Spanish as ‘How to Get Over a Break-Up’. The title drew me in for personal reasons, having had my long-term relationship end last year.  The plot revolves around a heartbroken ad copywriter who begins blogging about her life as a single woman, whose writing pastime turns into a huge success. The English title bears little resemblance to the Spanish title, for which it was difficult to find a direct translation. A Peruvian comedy from Bruno Ascenzo and Joanna Lombardi, the original title shares the same name with the protagonist’s blog and when I asked around, the most likely meaning was as a positive description of a single woman. Infused with the spirit of Beyoncé’s Single Ladies, it is a film that allows us to laugh at the tragedy of lost love.

Another aspect of the film I could relate to was that María Fe’s (Gisela Ponce de León) six- year relationship that ended was long-distance. After her boyfriend ended it over a video call, we are rapidly taken through the stages of grief, setting the course of the film for comedy that is laugh-out-loud funny, as well as emotionally fraught. The film is unashamedly feminist, and there is a subtle critique of male entitlement. María Fe’s standing up to this is empowering, yet also realistic. She makes mistakes, she does all the things we wish we didn’t do when it comes to romance, but still happen. Ultimately, though, the film goes where it needs to in order to assert its feminist credentials.

In terms of male entitlement, this is a classic example of how the personal is also the political

In terms of male entitlement, this is a classic example of how the personal is also the political. María Fe’s ex-boyfriend plays with her emotions at his whim. Very soon after breaking up with her, he changes his mind, and his emotions continue to flip-flop at María Fe’s expense. Even when he says that he has considered how she is feeling, after eight months pass he still expects her to follow him to the end of the Earth (or, at least to Madrid in Spain). It is in this time that she finds herself, and roots herself in the love of her friends, success at her place of work as a copywriter, and rediscovers her love for writing through her blog.

 if you’re a woman going through a similar experience, chances are it will appeal to you

The film began as a real-life blog by María José Osorio Harmsen as a series of lessons. This was then adapted into a book, before becoming the film we can now watch on Netflix. On her website, she states that what is at the heart of the story is the friendship between the women, each with their own sub-plots that provide touching moments throughout the film, along with its humour. Both the real-life story of the woman behind the journey from blog to book to film, and the character of María Fe are inspiring and uplifting. Now, I’m also intrigued to back track to the foundations of where the project began.

Overall, this was a film that I connected with as I could personally relate to the hetero break-up concept, along with being a writer. So, if you’re a woman going through a similar experience, chances are it will appeal to you and give you just what you need to give you a sense of empowerment in a light-hearted, feel-good way.

Featured photo credit: Jeffrey Pott (no changes made, under CC 2.0)

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