What to Watch Verdict
Netflix's 'My Love' is charming and gives us a little hope for finding 'true love'
♥️The couples picked are all likeable and genuinely in love.
♥️The fact that these are real people in happy and healthy relationships and not a storybook movie.
♥️There are no updates on the couples.
♥️Some episodes felt really slow with some scenes not really adding to the story.
This post contains spoilers for My Love: Six Stories of True Love.
It’s easy to be cynical when it comes to love. Love is difficult and meeting the right person is not an easy task. With the ever-changing various methods of dating, it is hard to determine what is love and what is part of the ‘hook-up’ culture. The current divorce rate in the US is staggering, resulting in many wondering if commitment or marriage is even worth it. With society the way it is, it seems like finding real love is hopeless.
However, in the upcoming release of My Love: Six Stories of True Love on Netflix, the documentary episodes offer a glimmer of hope stemming from these six stories of couples who have persevered through life’s challenges--whether it be the loss of a child, financial struggles, or the limits that come with aging. Expanded from Korean director Jin Moyoung’s documentary My Love, Don’t Cross That River, the series follows six couples from Brazil, India, Japan, Korea, Spain, and the U.S for over a course of a year, pre-pandemic. The couples have been together anywhere from 40 to 60 years and still act like they are in their honeymoon phase. Each story, directed by a local director in that country, follows the couple’s day-to-day routines and showcases the tenderness and care that the couples have for each other. It is very sweet to see couples still look at each other as if no time has passed between them.
At the beginning of the six episodes, the couples seem to be a little overly affectionate towards each other, but as each hour-long episode continues, it is clear that their love is genuine. Even when facing adversity, the couples continue on as a team to face it together. For Haruhei from Kawasaki, Japan, his relationship with his wife, Kinuko, saved his life. Forced to be hospitalized for his leprosy since he was a child, Haruhei probably would have lived the rest of his life in the hospital if it were not for Kinuko, who worked in the hospital, and motivated him to leave as they would marry and take care of each other. Back in the day, having leprosy was a death sentence with many living in institutions with a lack in quality of life. Haruhei credits his wife as a goddess that appeared and liberated him from the institution. Now, after 49 years together, they both advocate for victims of Japan’s discriminatory leprosy policy. In a scene, Kinuko tells him, “You’ve done well to live so long despite your disabilities.” He tells her his village doctor insisted he would not live past 15 years old. She tells him it’s because of his grit. He responds, ”Grit, patience, and my wife’s love.”
The series isn't just sappy happiness and romance; it also deals with the inevitability of death. U.S. couple David and Ginger, who have been together for 60 years, visit a cremation service to discuss their plans on what they would like to happen to them once they pass. Their ashes are technically not going to be together—David plans on having his ashes spread on his farm, while Ginger wanted her ashes to be with her mother and father. Ginger says calmly, “When the north wind blows, David’s ashes will come up where he can visit me. When the wind blows the opposite way, then I’ll come down and see him.”
The subject of death and loss is not taken lightly in the series. Korean couple Saengia and Yeongsam are still mourning the loss of their eldest son from over a decade prior. Even with so much love for each other and from their surviving adult children, nothing ever fills that void when you lose a child. As abalone farmers on the small Korean island of Bogildo, Yeongsam and Saengia spend most of their time working, which has caused a heavy toll on Saengia’s body over the years. Stricken with back pain, Saengia is told by doctors to stop working or else her condition would get worse. But Saengia refuses to quit because being on the farm allows her to not think about her eldest son. Yeongsam does his best to take care of his wife, but addresses his concerns over her health, “I don’t need anyone. You’re all I need. So stay with me for a long time and take me with you when you go.”
Still, the couples each cherish every moment with each other. After being married for 60 years, Augusto from Spain still sees his wife, Nati, as the young woman he fell in love with. They genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Throughout the time with them, Augusto compliments his wife every chance he gets and her reaction towards him is so welcoming like she is falling in love with him all over again. In one of these moments, they are laughing over jokes and their life working on the farm. He tells her sweetly, “When you’re in bed and reach out your hand and there is no one beside you, that’s very hard. That’s why women are so needed. When you’re lying in bed and she’s by your side and you reach out your hand and see the thing you need the most. And you think, what a beauty. May God take care of her for many years to come.”
Although some parts may be dragged on, which comes to no surprise since the series follows seniors and their daily lives. Just some scenes didn't feel necessary. The series also failed to provide updates on the couples, leaving many fans wondering if they were OK. The series was filmed in 2019 and had all of 2020 to follow up with the couples. It just left me wondering what happened to these couples we invested an hour of our lives in. These are elderly people, some of which with health issues, I would like to know if they're okay.
It’s hard not to feel envious of the relationships shown in the series, but it also provides some comfort knowing there is love out there. Showrunner Xan Aranda collected six stories from six countries, each couple being different from the others, but sharing the same universal love for their partners. With the world being such a mess, My Love is charming and serves as a little reminder that real love does exist.
My Love: Six Stories of True Love premieres on April 13th on Netflix
Laura Sirikul is a freelance writer, researcher, and managing editor of The Nerds of Color. Throughout her career, she has written for Nerd Reactor, What To Watch, Nerdist, IGN, Movie View Magazine, Red Carpet Report, Mental Floss, Trek News, The Hollywood Reporter, Character Media, Bitch Media, and many other outlets. She has been on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, Nerdist's Fangirls, and many other news shows. For almost ten years, she has covered film and television extensively along with in-depth interviews with major studios such as Disney, WB, and FOX. She is also a member of the Asian American Journalist Association and the Hollywood Critics Association. Apart from addressing topics covering film and television, Laura is a strong advocate for social awareness for the underrepresented in the entertainment industry.