Starring: Gisela Ponce de León, Karina Jordán, Jely Reátegui
Director: Bruno Ascenzo, Joanna Lombardi
Running Time: 104 mins
How To Get Over A Breakup (Soltera codiciada) is a Peruvian film about a heartbroken young woman who, after descending to the depths of depression after being dumped by her boyfriend of six years, finds solace in a blog where she details the events of her single life.
The premise sounds exactly like a copy of Bridget Jones’ Diary, however How To Get Over A Breakup is a far funnier, far more charismatic and simply far more likable movie throughout. With a delightful lead performance from Gisela Ponce de León, combined with an engaging, entertaining and often even surprising screenplay, How To Get Over A Breakup does the romantic comedy right, without ever falling victim to the genre tropes that so many others have before.
The Bridget Jones comparison is an interesting one here, because while the premises are fairly similar at first, the direction the stories take is where things work (or don’t). In Bridget Jones, the protagonist is an annoying, whiney and fairly stupid lead, while here, the main character is far more confident, well-rounded and likable throughout, meaning that you’re immediately able to form a stronger connection with her than you ever were with Bridget Jones (in the first two movies at least).
Also, the story doesn’t stick to rom-com genre tropes and formulas to the extent that you’d expect. Sure, the overall arc about a woman trying to do away with men and live her own life isn’t anything particularly original, but through the ups and downs of her recovery from the breakup, there is a degree of uncertainty and drama with regards to whether she would actually get back with her boyfriend if the chance were ever to arise.
Too often do rom-coms (Bridget Jones certainly included) put characters on a dull, predictable rail towards some kind of ‘destiny’ that’s effectively shorthand for lazy scriptwriting. I’m not saying that How To Get Over A Breakup is a revolutionary romantic comedy, and there are certainly far better ones out there, but because it’s so much more focused on our main character as an individual, rather than how she’s defined and made by her romantic relationships, it makes for a thoroughly engaging and entertaining watch.
On top of that, the film impresses with good humour and great charisma throughout. Again, by taking that over-emphasis away from the romantic side of things, the film is able to breathe a little more, and have some fun with more enjoyable and charismatic comedy. So, along with the farce of our leading lady’s desperation in the immediate aftermath of her breakup, you’ve also got the excellent chemistry between her and her best friends, and all the strange antics they get up to together, as well as the bizarre men she comes across who make great material for her blog.
As a result, the film finds a great balance between an engaging, character-based story and genuinely funny comedy throughout. I won’t say that it’s the greatest rom-com ever made, and perhaps in comparison to the most moving or eye-wateringly funny in the genre, it leaves a little to be desired, but with such charisma, likable characters and performances, good humour and engrossing screenwriting, How To Get Over A Breakup is a great watch nonetheless, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.5 overall.