Smiley review: A soppy yet heartwarming affair

Netflix’s ‘Smiley’ follows Álex and Bruno, among a slate of family and friends in their periphery all contending with the struggles that come with the pursuit of true love.

Story

Álex sends an angry voicemail that was meant for a guy he recently had a fling with, to a stranger named Bruno. The bartender pours his heart out in the voicemail, expressing his anger and disappointment.

Feeling bad he might never know his voicemail got sent to the wrong person, architect Bruno contacts Álex and tells him of the mistake. The talk gradually turns into an exchange where the two start to relate to each other’s situations.

Eventually, they decide to see each other in person and later do so. Their initial chemistry is chaotically passive-aggressive but also one where the two are intensely into each other.

Passions rise and so does the steam, as the two make love and eventually end up on the same bed. The following day, both are plagued by daydreams of what could’ve been and what can be.

However, it ends with the two kind of seeing each other out after failing to communicate how they feel for each other truly. Over the course of the next few weeks, Álex and Bruno become victims of more miscommunication and long wistful moments where they are reminded of each other.

They get into different relationships and despite their partners being the seemingly perfect fits, Álex and Bruno vie for each other, but the feelings are buried by their preconceived notions and previous experiences of hurtful relationships.

‘Smiley’ ends with the love prevailing still, as Álex and Bruno reunite while some of their family friends find love, some reconcile long-term differences, and some come to terms with the closure of their love lives with their loved ones.

Performances

‘Smiley’ is a sentimental little affair of eight episodes replete with tears and sulks. That requires actors to come through with their melodramatic chops and mopey expressions, and the actors in the series do.

The rom-com doesn’t lack talented actors who bring their A-game when it comes to shedding tears or expressing the clichéd looks of wistful longing. The leads in particular do a great job with their performances, lending significantly to the heartwarming and often tear-extracting capabilities.

Positives

‘Smiley’ is a concise affair and that’s always a great way to keep the melodrama to a tolerable quantity, as it can get a lot should a series adopt the runtime trend of most contemporary American TV.

A breath of fresh air, the rom-com series excels at presenting LGBTQ+ stories that simultaneously feel cute, relatable, heartwarming, and crucial as well.

Negatives

‘Smiley’ can be a bit cloying at times, and ladened with the clichés that come with the genre, it makes one wonder if ‘dramedy’ would be a better qualifier for this rom-com.

The struggles and completion of Ramiro’s arc could have been fleshed out better, what with his dark past of lonesomeness and a life mostly away from his loved ones and his own true identity as well.

Verdict

‘Smiley’ is a romantic comedy that mostly indulges in the melodrama of love and longing for a new romance. In spite of the ton of tropes and clichés, the series makes for an entertaining binge throughout.

Smiley
Smiley review: A soppy yet heartwarming affair 1

Director: David Martín Porras, Marta Pahissa

Date Created: 2022-12-08 13:30

Editor's Rating:
3

Also Read: Smiley ending explained: Do Álex and Bruno get together?

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