Often, we come across characters that make us want to scream at our screens at the top of our lungs. From going back to a toxic ex-partner or giving away an only chance at a dream opportunity, we feel like knocking some sense into the beloved characters we have watched live the story. The same happens in the Netflix Spanish series originally titled “Todas las veces que nos enamoramos.” The protagonist, Irene, is a passionate film student who aspires to be a director. She meets many people along the way who change her life for better or worse. The series follows her journey parallelly in 2003 and in 2022. The other character, Julio, is a carefree and charming man. Without a worry in the world, he glides through life and gets whatever he wants. Created by Carlos Montero, “In Love All Over Again” revolves around a tragic romance between Julio and Irene. Their lives converge at numerous points in their lives, as they can’t keep away from each other. They might seem very different in personalities, but their fundamental behaviors are very similar.
Showing us two different storylines, “In Love All Over Again” gives us a perspective as to what to expect from the plot. We see our central characters’ lives in youth and in adulthood. However, the way they tackle challenges or navigate life remains the same. Every character grows and lives through momentous experiences in life, which further makes the story more exciting and engaging. Nonetheless, the doomed love story between Irene and Julio always makes us question if they will be able to have a happy ending or not. And this question precisely tells us that this story is not a romantic comedy. It is as real as life and tells the story as it is. With such problematic and unsettled characters, we know that they are bound to screw up at some point or other.
The realism of “In Love All Over Again” also comes through in the themes and situations portrayed. For example, the terrorist attack in 2004 is depicted, which uprooted the lives of many people in Spain. This specific situation acts as the point where it all started, or at least where romance started blossoming between Irene and Julio. Moving ahead, we see them meeting at their university, then their paths crossing due to films and their love for cinema. Apart from this, the entire friend group indulges in alcohol and drugs pretty frequently. The difference between small-town life and city life is immense. And these differences spark a range of life-altering arcs that send each character on their own unique journey. From friendships, relationships, and love to cheating, ambition, and competitiveness, every possible aspect of youth can be seen in “In Love All Over Again.”
Irene’s story starts with her breaking up with Fer to move to Madrid and follow her dreams. Irene is passionate, hard-working, and dedicated to making it big in the ruthless and often merciless film industry. She has a lot of stories on her mind but struggles to put pen to paper. You would think such an inspiring girl with grit and determination is bound to be successful and take the industry by storm. And that’s when Montero’s reality kicks in. Irene has every possible trait to get the job done and achieve greatness. What Irene lacks is faith in herself and her potential. Irene is the archetypal girl who is never sure of her decisions or her ability to accomplish anything. She rethinks everything and rewrites her destiny every time her fear of failure takes over. Her utterly confused and puzzled personality makes you want to give her a piece of your mind.
On the one hand, Irene aspires to write and make movies about deep feelings and situations, while on the other hand, she fails to stick to one idea and see it through. How can she want the best in life without making any effort to bring a project to fruition? Irene procrastinates and distracts herself from the important things, only to fall apart when nothing goes her way. In a lot of aspects, she is seen as self-sabotaging, where a person fulfills a negative self-prophecy by doing exactly what will make them fail. In the entire series, we see her crib and cry about wanting success and to become a film director. But in reality, all she did was question herself, rethink her film scripts, and distract herself with relationships and sex. Without a take-charge attitude, Irene seems to let every fleeting moment slip through her fingers.
Furthermore, at one point, we can understand her fear of failure and not being good enough. However, her jealousy and envy toward her closest friends and even Julio are unforgivable. If she can’t do anything worthwhile in her life, she shouldn’t be jealous of her peers’ success either. In every situation, we see her pulling her friends down and not being happy with their happiness. Her mean and petty demeanor gets the better of her, and she ends up lashing out at everyone around her. This is a significant reason why we see Jimena and Damian in Julio’s life instead of Irene’s in the present day (2022). Irene pushed her best friends away just because she could not see them succeed, while she wasted away her precious time without actually focusing on one thing. On top of that, she is extremely judgmental and ignorant of everything she has in life, which is evident in how she treats Fer and Julio. Despite already having a partner in life, she keeps going back and forth between the two boys, only to break their hearts the first chance she gets.
During “In Love All Over Again” Season 1, we consistently hope to see Irene realize her potential and buckle up to do something worthwhile. We wait for her to take a stand and just get going. But unfortunately, that moment never comes. She fails to seize her destiny both in her personal and professional worlds. The climax of the series witnesses Irene confused and at a crossroads yet again. Though she does not make a choice, we are left wishing for her to at least pick the right option once. Seeing how “In Love All Over Again” was left on a cliffhanger, we hope Season 2 makes amends to Irene’s character and brings her back in a more fierce and confident manner.
Julio is a law student at Irene’s university. He seems aloof yet confident of who he is. He hangs out with his friends, goes out with numerous girls, and even dabbles in drugs every now and then. Julio’s parents are divorced, and he lives with his father. While his parents love and care for him, they give him a sense of freedom so that he does not feel suffocated under the pressure of a broken home. Julio grows up to be fine by living on his own. He seems to wish to be doing something different in life. And at one moment, we believe he wants to be an actor or in the film industry in some aspect. It might be because of his father that he does not pursue this dream and instead sets out to become a lawyer. We don’t know what his father does, but he is connected to the industry somehow as he gets premiere tickets to a new film.
The abovementioned secret wish ends up connecting Irene and Julio. Even though Julio has been with a lot of girls, he feels drawn toward Irene very strongly. He starts liking her and even craves her approval in terms of his acting and his skills. Irene wants Julio to play the lead in the short film that she wants to direct. Julio, while not convinced of his abilities, agrees to the same as he trusts Irene and her eye for talent. The charming, funny yet shy, and daring Julio has many sides to him. The deeply layered character has a lot to offer besides his good looks. Julio appears to be confident and secure to the naked eye, but on closer examination, we learn of the deep-seated vulnerabilities and insecurities that send him all over the place. He is fragile, to say the least, and has low self-esteem. Julio dares to dream and step outside the box. Nonetheless, he is unable to face the challenges that come with it. He feels like an imposter in his art and doubts his skills very often.
While he has the talent and skill to be an actor, he lacks the strength and courage to take criticism in his stride or make an effort to get better. An actor needs to dance to the director’s tunes and align their skill with what the movie demands. Julio sees every note and point of criticism as a personal attack on himself, which sends him into a spiral of panic, insecurity, and nervousness. Moreover, Irene recognized his talent, so Julio felt out of place whenever she did not reassure him of himself. Their relationship with each other also affects Julio’s career. This is the reason why Julio grapples with addiction and rehabilitation in the present day, when Irene is not a part of his life anymore. She is the lifeboat to his drowning person.
Julio And Irene’s Romance
Though we know their love story is a complete roller coaster with plenty of ups and downs, we should also realize these are two people who just can’t keep away from each other. Their careers are interlinked, as are their personal lives. If their paths are not converging due to love, they seem to come across each other in the film industry. Despite that, several misunderstandings and confusions stand as roadblocks in their lives. They don’t communicate clearly, nor do they spend enough time together to get to know each other. The love that they share is pure passion and electricity. Even though this is good to have, a relationship goes deeper than just lust and a hunger for sex.
Two people need to be fundamentally compatible to be together successfully. Irene does not respect Julio’s talent, whereas Julio does not stay true to his feelings or express himself. In the absence of words and expressions, sex alone cannot take their relationship to the next level. Moreover, they have always been in different stages of their lives. When they cannot individually deal with their issues and personal conflicts, they cannot help or support each other as a couple. These, along with many other probable reasons, prove why Irene and Julio were living the story of a doomed romance.