Brief synopsis: After getting dumped by his girlfriend of eight years and then losing his job in the same week, a man finds himself back in the dating pool. After blackmailing a friend to get him a new job, he searches online to find out how to date in the twenty-first century. He runs into an old female acquaintance from his school days who always liked him.
Is it any good?: I Love You, Stupid (Te Quiero Imbécil – original Spanish title) is an amusing comedy that is not perhaps for everyone. With good performances from all on show and an amusing script, I Love You, Stupid is a pleasant enough film without any great surprises that is entertaining throughout its runtime.
Spoiler territory: Marcos (Quim Gutiérrez) is in a restaurant with his girlfriend of eight years, Ana (Alba Ribas). He proposes to her, sliding a ring across the table. She ends the relationship. As he had moved into her home, Marcos has to move out after the split and goes to live with his parents.
He tells them he will only be with them for a few days or weeks, believing he is about to be promoted in his present job as he has a meeting with his boss the next day. When he goes to see his boss, Marcos is told that he is being laid off because business is tight. He goes to see his friend, Diego (Alfonso Bassave), for a drink and to talk about his woes.
Diego, a real ladies man, tells him he needs to get back into the dating market and forget his ex-girlfriend. He puts a load of dating apps onto Marcos’ phone. Marcos is not sure what he wants or even how to date. He turns to the internet, searching for answers. He finds Sebastian Venet (Ernesto Alterio), an Argentinian self-help guru, who promises to guide him through twenty-first-century dating and modern masculinity.
Venet tells him he needs to make some money and stop living with his parents. Marcos goes to see Diego and tells him to get him a job, blackmailing him by saying he will tell all of his friends that Diego has slept with their girlfriends. Diego gets him a job.
As Marcos is returning home, he is called to by a woman, Raquel (Natalia Tena), a punk-ish looking woman, with an easy smile. He does not recognise her but she reminds him that they knew one another at school. They had not seen one another for fifteen years. The next day, Marcos is being shown around the new office layout of his job by his boss, Lorena (Patricia Vico).
Marcos goes on a double date with Diego. Diego quickly charms one of the ladies and leaves. The other woman has no interest in Marcos and leaves him alone in the bar. He goes back to the internet, consulting Venet again. He needs to get in shape and update his wardrobe. Marcos starts exercising and grooming himself.
He runs into Raquel again, who calls to him as he is walking past the store she works in. She accompanies him as he goes to update his wardrobe, him having told her he needs to hook up with women to get over his ex. He goes on multiple dates, most of which turn out to be fruitless. When he thinks he is about to succeed with a possible conquest, his chance is kiboshed by him returning with his date to find his parents getting amorous in the living room.
Marcos gets himself an apartment and Raquel helps him move in. Marcos finds that Ana has blocked him from all her social media. He sees Diego. Deigo tells him he needs to stop thinking about his ex. The dating continues. One date, Veronica (Vanessa Castro), goes well and she invites him back to her place. Marcos is confident of getting laid until he sees her standing up whilst urinating.
Raquel and Marcos go to a concert of one of Raquel’s friends. Marcos, thinking Raquel wants to hook up with the musician, makes an excuse and leaves. At work, Marcos’ new wardrobe and workouts get him noticed. Lorena invites him to a party she is having. He goes to see Raquel. She gives him a tattoo whilst admonishing him for leaving her alone with the boring musician.
Marcos decides to take the office boy, Tomy (José Garcia Ruiz), with him to the party, so as he will not be outshone. At the party, Marcos is confident that he will be able to meet someone new at the party. Lorena comes to talk to him. As they bond over the party’s music selection, they are interrupted by Ana. She is impressed by Marcos’ new look and vibe. While Raquel is doing a music gig, Marcos hooks up with Ana.
He goes and tells Raquel that he had sex but does not tell her that it was with Ana. She goads him, asking if he will wait eight years before proposing again. He tells her it was just a hookup and will not happen again. Marcos calls Ana later that day. He asks her out but she turns him down. At work, Marcos gets promoted when one of his tweets becomes a trending topic.
He goes to hangout with Raquel. He lets slip that it is the woman he hooked up with has a birthday coming up. Raquel wants to know how he knows she has a birthday coming up. He makes up some excuse.
Back at work, Diego comes to see Marcos and notes that he is not talking about his ex anymore. He goes to help Raquel in her shop. Whilst moving a heavy sculpture, he damages his back. In the hospital, he gets a call from Ana. Raquel is convinced he is going to see her. He says he is not. He goes and sees her but does not tell her he has damaged his back.
Raquel comes to see him in the hospital the next day and brings him wine. Back at the office, Diego is a little worried about Marcos’ increasingly effeminate mores. He tells him they need a guys night out. He invites them to his home for soccer and beer. At Diego’s place, Marcos stands talking about relationships with a couple of the guys.
Diego kicks the guys out and tells Marcos that he is turning into a woman. Marcos talks to Raquel about his disagreement with Diego. They spend the whole day together and end up in a club. The Proclaimers record comes on and Raquel wants Marcos to get on the stage and sing with her. The conservative Marcos is too scared. She does not force the issue. Ana comes and kisses Marcos. Raquel leaves him alone with her.
Marcos wants to know what is going on with Ana and their hookups. She tells him that she is getting married the next week but her fiancé is in Germany. She invites Marcos to the wedding. He reluctantly accepts the invite. He tells Diego that he has been seeing Ana and that she is getting married. He tells him about Raquel as well, feeling that he has been leading her on.
Diego tells him he is in love with Raquel. Marcos sends Raquel an invitation to his office Christmas party. At the party, Lorena comes as tells Marcos she wants to have sex with him. She takes him to a private room. Raquel turns up at the party and Tomy, even as Diego is trying to stop him, tells her where Marcos is. She walks in on him being pawed by an amorous Lorena.
Marcos goes after Raquel and tells her nothing happened. She asks him why he invited her to the party but he does not have the courage to tell her he loves her. She walks away. A morose Marcos contacts Diego. They go to a bar and speak about his trip to London. He takes some things around to his parents’ home. His mother tells him that she found the box he was looking for.
He finds an old cassette tape in it. Marcos takes a car to the airport. He stops off at Ana’s wedding and tells her future husband that they slept together and she is a bit of a bitch. He heads to Raquel’s shop and lip-sync’s to The Proclaimers’ hit outside of her store. He strips off in front of her and tells her that he loves her. They kiss. The end.
Final thoughts: I Love You, Stupid (Te Quiero Imbécil) is a pleasant Spanish rom-com starring Quim Gutiérrez and Natalia Tena as the central couple you want to get together. Tena is especially engaging as the free-spirited Raquel and is likable from the moment she appears on the screen. Gutiérrez is great as the initially confidence-damaged Marcos. Though the film follows the normal path of a classic rom-com, it still has a few nice quirks to make it different from the run-of-the-
Written by Abraham Sastre and Iván Bouso, the script has some nice lines and utilises a few fourth-wall breaks, something that can sometimes take one out of the story but works perfectly well in the film. It is ably directed by Laura Mañá and flows smoothly through its eighty-seven-minute runtime, switching between scenes seamlessly.
The music works well in the film and adds to the youthful vibe. I Love You, Stupid scores a lowly five-point-eight on IMDB which would give one the impression that it is a poor film. It is not. Though not the best film or rom-com on Netflix, the film is worth taking an hour and a half out of your day to enjoy.