Netflix’s Have a Nice Day: Is the Spanish Movie Inspired by Real Life?

Netflix’s ‘Have a Nice day’ is a Spanish Comedy Drama directed by Yibran Asuad. Originally titled ‘Encontro lo Que Buscaba?’ this film is set in Rioverde, Mexico. The movie follows the story of a former radio host, Enrique. An invitation to a party from his previous employer arrives at his door and promises a chance at a reunion with his old love, “La Bamba.” However, in order to attend, Enrique must first get a job at a grocery store and save up enough money. While working in the store, Enrique befriends two kids, Picho and Amanda. As the story progresses, Enrique and Picho start stealing the market’s trash cardboard to earn extra cash, while Picho—with Enrique’s help, tries to win over his co-worker Amanda.

‘Have a nice day’ talks about the rock and roll culture and its influence in Mexico while criticizing the exploitative practices of Supermarkets at the same time. Our protagonist, Enrique, used to be a rock and roll radio legend and now, in his retirement, uses his charm to get what he wants. He’s a rule breaker— which is further highlighted by the goody-two-shoes character of Picho. Most of the movie is set in a supermarket and has a plot that revolves around interesting yet mundane characters. The rock and roll radio element added on top of that will leave the audience wondering if it is based on real life. Here is everything we know about the true origin of ‘Have a Nice Day.’

Have a Nice Day is a Fictional Story

No, ‘Have a Nice Day’ is not based on a true story. The story is an original idea of writer Javier Peñalosa, who is most popularly known for his work on shows like ‘Juana Inés’ and ‘XY. La Revista,’ as well as movies like ‘All The Freckles In The World.’ In ‘Have a Nice Day,’ Peñalosa tells the story of a retired man in pursuit of the lost love of his life. He sets up the wild, unchained nature of rock and roll against the stark contrast of the controlling and exploitative commercialized supermarket industry. A lot of people can relate to this aspect of the story and draw similarities between the characters and real people.

As Enrique tries to get back to “La Bamba” in hopes of getting another chance at love— he’s also trying to get back to the past glory of his youth. Past regrets and missed chances are things easily found in reality. On the other hand, Picho’s character introduces the struggles of youth into the narrative. Both these characters present a dynamic that is symbolic of the relationship between the old generation and the new.

As Enrique tries to help Picho impress Amanda, his influence on Picho starts to become more and more obvious. Picho starts the movie as a rule-following studious kid, and by the end, he’s wearing a leather jacket and hanging out with Enrique’s friends in a barber shop. As a radio host, it was Enrique’s job to introduce people to rock music and the culture surrounding it, and now after getting a job at the grocery store, he introduced rock and roll to Picho.

The overarching theme of the movie: its love for rock and roll, is heavily present through most of its plotlines. Still, none of those plotlines have any base in real life and are simply works of fiction written to tell Enrique’s story. However, there may be some similarities between real life and the base premise of the movie. Bill Richardson, a retired CBC radio broadcaster, also took up customer service at a Whole Foods store following his departure from the radio. Though his situation was a lot more different than Enrique’s, it could have potentially been a source of inspiration for the premise of ‘Have a Nice Day,’ but the same has never been confirmed. However, ultimately ‘Have a Nice Day’ is not based on a true story, just one rooted in the mundane realities of life.

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