Directed by Joanna Lombardi, ‘How to Deal With a Heartbreak’ is a 2023 light-hearted comedy featuring Jason Day, Jely Reategui, Gisela Ponce de Leon, Karina Jordan, Ana Maria, Christopher Von Uckermann, Norma Martinez, Rodrigo Raffetto, and more. The movie follows the story of Maria Fe (Gisela Ponce de Leon), a brilliant writer navigating the ebbs and flows of creativity, supported staunchly by her dad and gently encouraged by her mom to keep moving forward. Unfortunately, things turn sour, and Maria loses all her motivation to complete her next book.
Even though it’s not a traditional coming-of-age film, ‘How to Deal with a Heartbreak’ teaches us to hold our heads high no matter how difficult things become. It’s a story that’ll resonate with anyone who has experienced the challenge of loss and the struggle to find motivation after that. If you’re curious to see what challenges Maria faces while writing her book, here’s everything you need to know about the ending of ‘How to Deal With a Heartbreak.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!
How to Deal With a Heartbreak Plot Synopsis
The movie introduces us to Maria Fe (Gisela Ponce de Leon), a struggling author and content creator. A few years back, Maria penned a book the world loved. It was a big hit! But since then, she has been in a thoughtful phase, gathering her ideas and trying to brew up her next masterpiece. Her dad, Fernando, is her biggest fan. No matter the situation, he’s always there, giving her a thumbs up and cheering her on in her writing and digital adventures. Fernando is so proud, even if Maria thinks her work and life are just “fine.” On the flip side, Maria’s mother, Elena (Norma Martinez), is all about pushing forward. She nudges Maria gently, prodding her to dive into her next book and wrap it up as soon as possible.
After one heartfelt chat, Maria returns to Lima, looking for fresh inspiration and a nudge to complete her book. Her buddies, Natalia (Karina Jordan) and Carolina (Jely Reategui) become an important part of her support system, as friends often do. After three years, Maria hugs Carolina, her ex-roommate. Life had taken them on different paths—Maria returned to her parents due to the pandemic, and Carolina devoted herself to her cupcake business. Now a successful pastry chef, Carolina is debating whether or not she wants to have a family. She’s also using Tinder to find men willing to get her pregnant.
Maria visits Orozco (Ana Maria), her publisher, who wants to unveil her next book at the upcoming book fair. The issue is that the book fair is in three months, and Maria risks postponing her book’s publication date to the next year if she does not meet the deadline. However, a tight deadline is the least of Maria’s problems. Maria’s world comes crashing down when she learns of her father’s death. The loss of her father hit her hard, shaking the very foundation of her world. Maria had made a promise to dedicate her next book to him, but the words appear to have deserted her. Inspiration becomes a distant dream, and the thought of completing a book feels insurmountable.
Maria returns to attend her father’s funeral and can’t stop her tears. She contemplates moving back in with her mother to support her through the grieving process. However, her mother, understanding the importance of Maria’s dreams and promises, advises her to do otherwise. Maria promises to honor her father’s memory by seeing her dreams through and returns to Lima to complete her book. Maria realizes that if she needs to complete her book, she needs to change her lifestyle. She starts going for a sprint every morning and even tries to give up her smoking habit. During one of her sprints, she runs into Luca (Jason Day), an old friend and potential suitor from her past.
Elena registers Maria for a creative writing workshop, believing it’ll be a boon for her creativity. But Maria, ever the skeptic, has her reservations and believes these workshops are nothing but a clever money-making scheme. Maria decides to attend the workshop after not being able to write a single word. Maria has always believed in the power of her inner muse and her personal journey as a writer. The thought of a structured workshop dictating her creativity didn’t quite sit well with her. She prefers the freedom of her own process, the spontaneous bursts of inspiration that come from within. Fortunately, she connects with Joaquin, one of the attendees of the writing workshop. Both Maria and Joaquin (Rodrigo Raffetto) have lost someone in their life, and their shared loss becomes the foundation of their friendship.
How to Deal With a Heartbreak Ending Explained: Did Maria Fe Complete Her Book?
Maria needs a concrete motivation to jumpstart her writing journey and thus decides to sleep with Luca. Maria realizes that to be a credible single life and relationship guru, she needs recent experience, as her last intimate encounter was decades ago. If it works well, she’ll end up with a man she had a crush on since school, and if she fails, she’ll pour her experience into her book. Curious and hopeful, she enlists the help of Santiago, Natalia’s fiance. Santiago (Christopher Von Uckermann) suggests Maria amps up her confidence and style and puts herself in Luca’s line of sight. He also advises her to ignore Luca wherever he tries to make contact.
The plan works, and Luca and Maria eventually end up spending a night together. This newfound romance provides Maria with the confidence she’d been missing. The words flowed effortlessly onto the page, making meeting the deadline seem very feasible. Everything seemed to be going well until Luca introduced her to his girlfriend, Ari, at a party. Turns out, unlike Maria, Ari, Luca’s girlfriend, is a promising filmmaker who has her life planned out. Heartbroken, Maria tries to drown her sorrows in alcohol, but it proves ineffective. Maria also vents her anger on her mother after hearing that she’s planning to donate her father’s things.
Maria is grappling with a whirlwind of fears and uncertainties. She misses her father more than ever, the one person who always supported her regardless of her writing skills. He was a constant source of love and appreciation, a true pillar of strength. In the midst of her struggle, the workshop host becomes a guiding light. She encourages Maria to channel her pain into her writing, using her fears and sorrow as a wellspring of creativity. She hints Maria to turn her vulnerabilities into her greatest assets. We also see Maria, despite battling her own fears, stepping up to support her friends, Carolina and Natalia. She offers them advice that resonates and helps clear their problems. Maria then takes the most challenging step and returns home to apologize to her mother. Maria also courageously helps her understand that her father’s passing wasn’t her fault.
To overcome her fears, Maria began doing breathing exercises, yoga, and anything that could help her keep her mind calm. With each breath and yoga pose, Maria finds herself inching closer to tranquility. It was like a fog lifting, allowing her to see through the haze and focus on one thing at a time. She also makes a pact with herself to conquer the chaos and let clarity fuel her creativity. With a calm and clear mind, Maria digs into her book, pouring heart and soul onto each page. The book was her story, her laughter, tears, and growth neatly bound together.
After it’s completed, Maria sends a digital copy to Joaquin, her faithful confidante. Jaoquin’s enthusiasm and genuine excitement light up Maria’s world. His words of praise, calling it funny, emotional, mature, and deeply human, provide Maria with the affirmation she had been longing for. Jaoquin also flies down to Lima to be part of Maria’s book release, making it a truly special event. As the movie nears its conclusion, Maria dedicates her book to her greatest fan, her father. She pours out her gratitude, thanking him for always being there, appreciating her efforts, and filling her life with love and laughter.
What Happened To Carolina and Natalia?
During her struggles, Maria becomes a pillar of support for her friends, Natalia and Carolina. Natalia, on the brink of marriage, felt suffocated by the expectations of a traditional wedding. Maria, understanding her frustration, suggested an excellent idea. Maria advised Natalia to have a small and intimate wedding and use the remainder of the wedding funds to explore the world with Santiago. She asked Natalia to follow her heart and create memories that truly matter.
On the other hand, Carolina lived under a constant fear of not becoming a good mother due to her perceived recklessness. Maria had witnessed Carolina’s determination and hard work in her business and was certain she’d be an excellent mother. She offered comforting words, reassuring Carolina of her capabilities and potential for great motherhood.