Finding a fresh story in a genre as hackneyed as romantic comedy is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Most streaming phenomena go out of fashion quickly, and cinema continues to depend on Sandra Bullock (The lost City) and Julia Roberts (Passage to paradise) to lure us into the halls. For his part, Netflix found a successful enclave in Emily in Paris, a series that overflows clichés and superficiality with astonishing impudence. But it succeeds. So when I found out that flat for two was already available for the enjoyment of the Latin American public, I hastened to write this article so that they take it into account. Because if you want to see one romcom fresh, entertaining and ideal for a marathon afternoon, then this is the perfect series.
flat for two is based on the British bestseller by Beth O’Leary which, in a nutshell, transports us to the age of love without the Internet through two complete strangers who form an unbreakable bond through notes they write to each other. The series, available on Paramount +, opens with Tiffany (Jessica Brown Findlay) crying her eyes out in her new apartment. She is processing a painful breakup that was clearly not her idea. Her ex-boyfriend is rebuilding her life with another woman but she keeps using her photo as a screen saver.
Tiffany needs space to get through it, yet London’s expensive property bubble only allows her to pay shared rent. The arrangement works though: she has the apartment from 8 p.m. to 8 the next morning. Leon (Anthony Welsh), her partner, works nights as a nurse so she has the space the other half of the day. But the agreement has a strict rule: they cannot intersect. Therefore, the relationship of ‘partners’ is forged on the basis of ‘Post-It’ or notes that they write in the kitchen cupboard.
The screen is divided into two every two by three making us participants in the opposite lives they lead. Leon is organized, he has a girlfriend and an important goal: to help his brother get out of prison, imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Tiffany is an emotional earthquake on the brink of wreaking havoc at every turn. She lives with low self-esteem from an emotionally abusive relationship while her job puts her under pressure to prove herself. But between the personal whirlwinds that each one lives, a ground wire emerges: the relationship that they create, maintain and share through those notes written in the kitchen every day.
You are probably wondering why I compare it to Emily in Paris Yes, at first glance, they are so different. Basically because the series of Netflix It has become a benchmark among streaming light romantic comedies. And if Emily in Paris takes place in the French capital with a protagonist dedicated to the world of advertising, with colorful friends and light love stories. flat for two It transports us to London, with a journalist protagonist and a more credible romantic story.
The difference is that flat for two it beats the Lily Collins series where it fails the most: making the simple irresistible. I explain.
Emily in Paris It is a series that fails to rely so much on the unreality of its characters, on the speed of its plots without depth, and on the constant superficiality of emotions. Everything happens so fast that it seems that Emily neither feels nor suffers. Just as she breaks hearts, she mends, betrays, or mends relationships, but she never pays the consequences. All her stories in the three available seasons take place with the same superficiality as a Parisian shop window.
flat for two It’s not a perfect series. It has obvious script holes, however the big difference is that explores the vulnerability of its characters, delving into their narrative arcs like no other Emily in Paris. Here we meet Tiffany and León, we delve into their weaknesses, mistakes and goals. But also in their friends, the lives that surround them and the influence they have on each one. They are not perfect nor do they pretend to be, no matter how much visual unreality they use to decorate the series. They are vulnerable. They are credible and close.
As impossible as it may seem, in six episodes the series manages to forge a romantic relationship based on brief papers, taking root in the reality that each character brings, the chemistry between the two protagonists and the vulnerability that each one exposes in secret.
This way, flat for two manages to turn the clichés of the typical ‘boy meets girl’ and a story of personal renewal (Tiffany’s) into a proposal that makes you fall in love through a driver as simple as those brief messages in the apartment’s kitchen. Because it’s simple. Because it’s romantic. Because it does not resort to cell phones, applications, or anything like that. But to a romance that arises in the middle of two imperfect characters. Like life itself. something where Emily in Paris it fails and fails, squeezing superficiality to the point of creating characters with a perfect style but empty inside.
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