“The Heartbreak Agency” (Original title: “Die Liebeskümmerer”) is a new romantic comedy streaming on Netflix. Released on Valentine’s Day, it follows a skeptical journalist who takes part in a heartbreak therapy for his article. The film’s screenplay is written by Antonia Rothe-Liermann and Malte Welding and is loosely based on Elena-Katharina Sohn’s book and her agency. The film is directed by Shirel Peleg and stars Rosalie Thomass & Laurence Rupp as the lead couple. Besides them, the cast includes Cora Trube, Jakob Schreier, Jerry Hoffman, and Denise M’Baye in the supporting roles. This German film is witty, heartfelt & romantic – making it a perfect watch for the 14th of February.

Spoilers ahead.

The Heartbreak Agency (2024) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

What is ‘The Heartbreak Agency’ on Netflix about?

“The Heartbreak Agency” on Netflix is a conventional rom-com that follows a journalist and a heartbreak therapist as they fall in love with each other. It is roughly based on a book by Elena-Katharina Sohn – where she recounts the experiences of heartbroken adults she encountered in her ‘lovesick agency.’ Rosalie Thomass plays therapist Maria, whereas Laurence Rupp plays journalist Karl.

What happens in ‘The Heartbreak Agency’ on Netflix?

“The Heartbreak Agency” on Netflix begins with an introduction to the life of one of its protagonists. One day, Karl (played by Laurence Rupp) wakes up next to his girlfriend, only to realize she wants to break up with him. He is oblivious as to why she is doing this. She throws him out of her apartment and does not give him a chance even to put on his clothes. Before leaving, he is not concerned about his appearance as much as he is about his toy car. He asks about it, and she gets even angrier. Meanwhile, Maria (played by Rosalie Thomass) gets interviewed to speak about her work at the ‘heartbreak agency.’ She started it to help people who are trying to cope with the loss of their love.

Karl hates it and thinks Maria is a phony. Little does he know that he will be told to write about her work. For this assignment, he goes to meet her at her office. He is highly skeptical of the efficacy of her techniques – especially since she comes from a marketing background. Karl thinks she knows how to sell the idea of herself as a good therapist, but her advice holds no real substance. So, while interviewing her, he makes some snarky remarks about it and about the idea of love. While walking out of her office, he sees a box filled with many things and notices his toy car. He concludes that Maria made his girlfriend break up with him.

What does Karl write in his article about Maria?

Karl realizes that Maria’s agency is the reason his girlfriend broke up with him. So, as revenge, he childishly insults Maria’s work through his article. He lets it get published without the editor’s permission. So, once the editor reads the article, filled with sexist remarks, he decides to fire Karl. Karl still does not let go of his ego. He believes he can easily get a job anywhere he wants. But his bluntness makes it impossible. So, he goes back to his editor and asks for his job back. The editor agrees on one condition – Karl has to write an article apologizing for his words and understanding the importance of love. Also, it needs to come from his heart.

Karl reluctantly accepts this offer. He joins other heartbroken single people at Maria’s agency. Unlike them, he cannot take his brokenheartedness seriously. He mocks how they try to find meaning in small things. Maria makes Karl realize that he needs to take things seriously. Eventually, they enter a retreat to engage, interact, and learn of ways to move on without their love. Before Maria arrives, Karl deviates from his teammates toward another approach. He makes them realize that love is not the only thing that can make them happy. Karl professes the importance of sex with partners one doesn’t love. Maria finds it troubling.

How does Maria help Karl with his heartbreak?

The Heartbreak Agency (2024) Movie Review & Ending Explained:
A still from “The Heartbreak Agency” (2024)

Maria senses that Karl is averse to romantic love because of something that happened in his past. Along the way, she starts bonding with him – over minor agreements. Then comes a point that brings them even closer. Earlier, Karl told heartbroken Turgay (played by Özgür Karadeniz) to stop his partner’s new marriage to get closure. In the present, Karl notices that Turgay’s ex-wife is getting married in the same hotel as theirs. So, he tries to stop Turgay from being reckless. Maria joins him. In the middle of the wedding, they end up creating a fire incident and get arrested for it.

Karl’s mother bails them out and takes both to their family house. Maria enters Karl’s teenage room and notices a locked box. She opens it and learns about his first love. When he was in his teens, a girl broke Karl’s heart. He hasn’t recovered from it – because he has never worked on his feelings. After being honest about these matters, he grows fond of Maria. That night, they end up having sex in his room. Later on, he starts being a part of her life. Be it babysitting her daughter or helping her out with chores, he starts doing these small bits for her. She notes that she is an introvert, and an extrovert is considered a good partner for them. He understands this subtle hint.

The Heartbreak Agency (2024) Movie Ending Explained:

Do Karl & Maria end up being together?

At the end of “The Heartbreak Agency” on Netflix, Karl shows up at Maria’s doorstep with a bouquet. But his plans get ruined once he sees Maria’s husband return home. The husband mostly lives away from her and their daughter. So, Karl seemed like a constant, calming presence in her life. Anyhow, the husband takes the bouquet and gives it to her. Soon after, Maria reads the note attached to it, which shows Karl’s willingness to be the extrovert in Maria’s life. Upon hearing that, she heads directly to his apartment.

Karl became miserable after realizing that he may never be able to be with Maria. He got too attached to her and was going through his initial stage of heartbreak. Maria cheers up Karl and makes him realize that she also wants to be with him. Before coming, she spoke with her husband and became open about her priorities. After that, she decides to put an end to that relationship and then meets Karl.  So, at the end of this Netflix rom-com, Maria and Karl end up together.

The Heartbreak Agency (2024) Movie Review:

“The Heartbreak Agency” on Netflix is yet another conventional romantic comedy. It follows multiple genre cliches and develops them into nothing exceptional. In its traditional rom-com storyline, we meet – a guy who initially does not believe in love and is terrible at expressing himself but slowly learns how to do both. Besides, we see two people who hate each other turn into each other’s lovers. This sweet romantic concoction does try to shed light on some serious issues – of how we process our emotions and the importance of nurturing emotional health.

However, the treatment feels fairly generic. It may not be plain bad, but it feels like another addition to the pile of passable films. Nothing sticks out as particularly memorable. The friction between Karl and Maria’s worldviews becomes effective because of the acting performances by Rosalie Thomass and Laurence Rupp. Rupp projects his grumpiness fairly well, which complements nicely to Thomass’s portrayal of unapologetic Maria.

But, as a film, “The Heartbreak Agency” plays everything too safely to make any significant impact. Somehow, it still feels slightly better than the overly saccharine tonality of Hallmark romances.

Read More: The 10 Best Romantic Comedy Movies of 2022

Trailer:

The Heartbreak Agency (2024) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd
The Heartbreak Agency (2024) Movie Cast: Rosalie Thomass, Laurence Rupp, Cora Trube, Jakob Schreier, Jerry Hoffman, Denise M’Baye
The Heartbreak Agency (2024) Movie Genre: Romance/Comedy, Runtime:1h 34m
Where to watch The Heartbreak Agency

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