‘How To Deal With A Heartbreak?’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: Did Maria End Up Writing Her Book?


Netflix’s How to Deal with a Heartbreak? is a light-hearted comedy drama that deals with the struggle of a woman in her mid-30s trying to establish herself as a writer. Our protagonist, Maria Fe, has a tendency to joke about everything, but a tragic incident makes her question her purpose as an individual. While her best friends, Carolina and Natalia, were making important announcements, Maria Fe felt quite lost. She was a writer; her first published book was well received, but she had spent the last three years of her life working on her second book. Maria started living with her parents during the pandemic, and after three years, she was still there. Her mother was worried about her daughter’s lack of motivation, though Maria’s father was always confident about her success. The day Maria declared that she would return to Lima, her mother was the happiest person.

Spoiler Alert

How Did Maria Deal With Her Father’s Demise?

Soon after moving to Lima and connecting with her best friends, Maria received the news of her father’s death. He succumbed to a heart attack, leaving Maria in a wreck. She could not accept the sudden absence of her father. He was the only person who trusted her and celebrated her, and without him, she felt completely lost. Maria promised to dedicate her second book to her father, but now that he was no longer there, she struggled to find a reason strong enough to work on the book. Maria started to imagine her father wherever she went. He was there in her thoughts, and she always wondered what his reaction or advice would be in a given situation. It was not just Maria who was finding the situation difficult to cope with, but also her mother, who preferred keeping her emotions hidden.

Maria could sense that her mother’s sudden obsession with organizing her house was rooted in the loss, but it was impossible to stop her, given the distance. Her mother went ahead and enrolled Maria in an online writing workshop, hoping that would encourage her to start working on her second book. As a woman in her mid-30s, Maria was appalled by the fact that her mother believed she was incapable of working on her own after years of writing experience. While Maria disapproved of her mother’s intervention, once she joined the workshop, she continued to take part in it. She met Joaquin at the workshop, and there was an unexplainable connection between the two. He could laugh at her jokes and, at the same time, understand her insecurities.

What did Maria learn about her best friends?

Maria was battling her insecurities as a writer every day. She was not entirely satisfied with her life as a content creator, but at the same time, she lacked the motivation to work on her book. She was passionate about writing, but somehow, she could not find a starting point. Maria was engulfed in her grief and her lack of clarity, and it was only at the end of How to Deal with a Heartbreak? that she realized that her friends were not living the perfect life that she had imagined. 

Natalia was engaged to marry her partner, but the entire wedding planning process had taken a toll on their relationship. They missed the physical affection they once shared, and it was all too overwhelming for Natalia. When Maria found out about it, she advised them to use the money that they were planning on spending on their wedding to travel. Natalia had never been interested in a grand wedding, and it did not make sense for her to do so just because people expected her to. Natalia took Maria’s advice, got married overnight, and traveled abroad.

Meanwhile, Carolina was having a difficult time as well. Her business was a success, and she was finally earning a good profit out of it. The fact that she enjoyed her work was a cherry on top. She had her own place, making her feel more settled than ever before. Carolina realized that she was emotionally and financially stable enough to raise her own child, and as happy as the realization was, she also suffered from insecurities. She always caught herself wondering what a terrible parent she would be considering the mistakes she made in everyday life. She was so caught up in these thoughts that she started to rethink her decision. It was after discussing her situation with Maria that she realized that becoming a mother was a journey that was not supposed to be perfect in the first place. The conversation helped Maria realize that none of her friends were living a perfect life. While they were dealing with their own sets of problems, they never abandoned Maria. Carolina and Natalia always made sure that they were there for her, and they chose to hide their problems to give her their undivided attention.

Did Maria end up writing her book?

Maria assumed that maybe if she made a terrible mistake on the romantic front, she might just have the perfect tragic tale for her book. Her friend, Luca, was a potential candidate, considering that they had spent a night together before, though he claimed to have no recollection of it. Luca could not be trusted with commitment, but he was good enough to get back into the game. Maria tried her best to attract Luca, and her plan worked. He arrived at her house party late and confessed to remembering the night that they had spent together. Things escalated with a kiss, and the next morning, Natalia and Carolina found them together in Maria’s room. Maria had no intentions of getting emotionally attached to him, but at the same time, she could not ignore his sweet little gestures.

After her second book was announced by the publisher, Maria tried her best to find a way to come up with something concrete. Her publisher provided her with the option of getting a ghostwriter in case she was not in a mental space to write the book, but Maria was ready to give up on it yet. The mixed reaction upon the announcement of the book gradually got to her, but thankfully, Joaquin helped her navigate the situation. During such harsh days, all Maria wanted was to live in her safe space, which was her childhood spent with her father. Maria needed a place of comfort, and she arrived at Luca’s apartment. She walked into a party hosted by Luca, and he introduced her to his girlfriend. Maria felt extremely out of place; the situation was awkward, and the conversations made her doubt herself all the more. Maria always thought about others’ perceptions of her, and sometimes it broke her down.

When Maria was asked to write about fear at the workshop, she ended up not writing down a word. She had too many fears to express in such little time. She admitted to being too bothered by others’ judgment, and it made it almost impossible for her to write her own thoughts. Maria struggled all the more because the only person who believed her at all times was suddenly gone. She missed her cheerleader, and her biggest fear was gradually forgetting him. Maria always kept her father alive in her thoughts, but she was afraid of losing him over time. After baring her emotions in front of an audience, Maria felt confident about writing her book.

At the end of the film, she returned home to be with her mother on her birthday. Maria realized that her mother was as broken (if not more) as she was. She could not get over the haunting memory of finding her husband lying on the bathroom floor. She tried to get rid of his things, but she could not make herself do it. Both Maria and her mother were holding onto their memories of Fernando, and together, they found the comfort they had been searching for. They realized that they did not need to get rid of his things; instead, they could appreciate the person that he was and enjoy the things that he liked.

Maria was finally in the mental state to pour her heart into her next book, and so she did. Joaquin was her first reader, and he was impressed. It was finally the day of her book launch, a day that Maria knew that her father had been waiting for a long time. With her mother, her friends, and her followers by her side, Maria felt more confident than ever before. She dedicated the book to her father, just like she had promised. And she knew that he was watching her with extreme pride. At the book launch, Maria met Joaquin in person for the first time. He was even more beautiful than she had imagined him to be, and they ended up sharing a kiss.

How to Deal with a Heartbreak?‘s ending suggests that Maria and Joaquin have a future together. He is stable and emotionally mature enough to complement Maria Fe. Maria learned to embrace her fears and finally found the confidence to bare her soul.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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