I’ve made no secret of my love for telenovelas (Spanish soap operas) and once a year there’s always one novela that captures my heart. This year it’s Lo Que La Vida Me Robó (What Life Stole from Me). It stars the love of my life Sebastian Rulli and Angelique Boyer. It’s a remake of Bodas de Odio (Weddings of Hate) and Amor Real (Real Love) and unlike these two, Lo Que La Vida Me Robó is set in the present.
A quick summary: In order to pay the family debts, a daughter is married to very rich man and gives up the love of her life. Later, she finds out about the arrangement and when the love of her life comes for her, she has to make the painful decision: go with him or stay with her husband. Here’s the trailer for and if you don’t understand Spanish, you can still understand the plot.
A few nights ago as I watching Lo Que La Vida Me Robó, my only thought process was, “someone make this into a book!” Then I have to remind myself that as much I love the angst (gah I’m such an angst whore. The more the better!), I’m not sure my poor heart can take it. The downside to watching remakes is that while there are changes, the same concept stays the same. I’m not sure if novelas have become mundane or I’ve grown up with them that I can easily spot the plot twists. See the episode that inspired this post, Montserrat (Boyer) was crying into her pillow because Alejandro (Rulli) was dead and boohoo we all feel sad for her because we saw her hatred of him turn into love. And yet, I knew he couldn’t be dead. I mean it’s a soap and where’s the justice if Alejandro’s dead? Then that means his storyline isn’t resolved and in order for their son to inherit Alejandro’s wealth his story needs closure and he needs to be alive. So not to spoil things for anyone, but yes he’s alive. Anyway, I got to thinking about love triangles in books and how there’s always a loser. It’s no different in a novela, there’s always another man in love with the heroine or the hero is married to a nasty wife who wants to keep him tied to her despite him loving someone else. I can forgive the nasty wife or husband use because it easier to pick a team, but the writers of Lo Que La Vida Me Robó have made it difficult for me to pick a side.
Let’s a take a moment to revisit some key scenes that make me switch sides. The first is the most important one because it sets up Montserrat meeting Alejandro for the first time and she mistakes him for Jose Luis.
This scene makes my heart leap so much and all I wanted was them for kiss and live happily every after!
This one makes my heart hurt because Jose Luis finds out Montserrat just got married and she realizes that everything she’s been told about him has been a lie.
Which brings me back to Monsterrat and Jose Luis as a couple. They always make me smile when they’re together and the actors have such an easy going chemistry that I’m sure that helps a lot too.
So as I write this, Monsterrat has to grapple with the aftermath of Alejandro’s apparent death. When she finds out what Jose Luis did for her, your heart stops and you begin to cheer them on. And as she fights the attraction (she does admit she never stopped loving him), one has to wonder…was her love for Alejandro real? Or is it like her brother tells her, “you had two great loves in your life.”
I know how Lo Que La Vida Me Robó will end. Alejandro will get his estate back and Jose Luis will have to die in order for Monsterrat and Alejandro to be happy. After all, this always been about them and not about Jose Luis. And yet, I can’t but help but think of all the heartbreak Alejandro has put Monsterrat through. Why can’t he be the one to die and ultimately leave the underdog as the hero of this love story?
In the same way, I hate love triangles in books. At least in fiction, the third wheel gets his happily ever after in a later book. I know Jose Luis won’t get his despite my wish that he does. And as I sit here, contemplating the perfect ending to Lo Que La Vida Me Robó, I’m also thinking of love triangle in books. Have you come across one that worked? What are your overall feelings about them?