Rom-coms are both an easy genre to love and a hard one to get right. The bad ones are typically forgettable, but the good ones? Those always leave you wanting more. And then there’s Amazon Prime’s With Love, the rom-com told in five different installments that somehow manages to give us that and more, and yet, when the final episode ends and the screen fades to black, we’re still not satisfied.
We’d take five more episodes of these people and their stories.
Director Gloria Calderón Kellett’s With Love centers around a family and showcases not just one holiday or one type of love story, but many of them. There’s the friendship that could have been more, the long-term marriage that has, in some ways, lost that spark, the flirtation that you’re scared to take to the next level, and the new relationship that seems to be everything you wanted, with all the fears that entails.
No relationship is perfect, and none is given preference as we move from holiday to holiday with Lily and Jorge Diaz, the heart of the show. Instead, we see Jorge and boyfriend Henry find their way, not just with each other but with a family that Jorge isn’t truly sure is as accepting as they pretend to be. And we follow Lily as she settles for something that she knows isn’t the magic she deserves before she allows herself the chance to experience the love she always dreamed of – even if that leap might end up breaking her heart.
We also get to see Sol as she learns to open up, to trust that the person she wants to be with wants her just the way she is. And where her being a trans woman isn’t a problem in the slightest or the focus. And we, of course, experience the journey of the younger generation through the eyes of Jorge Sr. and Beatriz, the parents with the relationship everyone dreams of, but who are themselves struggling to keep that fire alive.
But With Love isn’t about one story, or two, it’s about all the stories intertwined, and what they mean when seen as a whole. Because we might be the Lily of our family, or the Jorge, or the Sol, but there are no better love stories than others. There are just different ones. And as we move from one holiday to the other, as we fall in love with some like Nick and Santiago while maintaining a constant appreciation for both Henry and Miles, we realize that the magic of this show is not just in showing us different sides of love. It’s in the way it doesn’t pit them one against the other.
Love isn’t a zero-sum game. Loving one person doesn’t mean you will love the next person that comes into your life any less. And loving your family doesn’t mean you have any less romantic love to give. If anything, the more you allow yourself to experience love, the more love you have to give. And Amazon Prime’s With Love is the perfect holiday series to remind you not just of why the feeling is worth it, but all the different ways it can be experienced.
With Love is available to stream on December 17, 2021 on Amazon Prime Video.