A Map for Love – Review

I am a sucker for a quirky love story. Give me a sweet soundtrack, beautiful imagery and lots of silent eye contact and I am already won over. Add in a couple of dodgy haircuts, a spontaneous, eccentric extrovert and a lesbian love story and I am completely sold. Luckily for me, and for LGBT film-lovers everywhere, A Map for Love has all of this and more.

Set in Santiago, this is a story of two lovers: quiet, shy Roberta and woman of the world Javiera who make up an unlikely yet still very much believable couple. Despite being desperate to avoid getting into a situation where she has to introduce her girlfriend to her mother Ana, Roberta finds herself in a position where she feels she has no other choice. As such, they end up taking a what could be seen as quite ill-advised bonding boat trip together. A Map for Love is a tale of an unlikely pairing, coming out and winning over the in-laws which despite being a rather familiar plot outline for a film about same sex relationships, you really won’t have seen it like this before.

The boat trip involves some incredibly uncomfortable moments between all of the characters and a rather unorthodox method of winning over one’s mother-in-law. I won’t give away any spoilers but really I would not suggest anyone try this at home! The result however is highly enjoyable and it’s incredibly refreshing to watch a film about women’s relationships both platonic and romantic without bitchiness, competition, or the involvement of a male protagonist. A Map for Love makes you realise just how very rare that is in a film and how successful it can be as a formula.

Directer Constanza Fernandez, who I recently interviewed about this film, has clearly gone to great lengths to create this story in such a way that defies stereotypes and cliches. Instead, A Map for Love is filled with heart and humour which makes the storyline work so brilliantly. Despite having rather clashing personalities, the two leads are actually incredibly balanced instead of opposing one another as so many ‘unlikely’ romantic leads do.

This film is gentle, enjoyable and unique. It comes highly recommended to anyone who likes a good love story or who fancies a somewhat different, funny and engaging coming out tale to the usual cinematic offerings.