Yes, this novela had potential to be the best of 1999... Maybe even the '90s! Diana Bracho was amazing as always. She did a beautiful job of portraying Dariana Valdivia and all of her layers. I hated her in the beginning but she later got my sympathy as we got a glimpse of her past. Julieta Rosen also did a great job with Fernanda who went from bad to evil. These two were constantly plotting against Alejandro and Marian, and I always found myself rooting for them. Juan Ferrara did well with the former, and I was pleasantly surprised with Alicia Machado. I usually don't like her but she did well in this. SSo well in fact that I actually felt them as a couple even after all of the obstacles that were thrown at them. But this was all ruined in the end by the addition of Itati Cantoral ( who in my opinion did not do so as Francesca Paoli Prado), whose character falls in love with Alejandro. Unfortunately these feelings are returned! He is shown to be torn between Francesca and Marian. Simple enough, right? She's just a last minute complication that ultimately solidifies Marian and Alejandro's love, and she's probably gonna end up with the other guy who's in love with Marian... Ya you'd think. Unfortunately that's not the case. She decides to leave in the finale, but she crosses Alejandro on her way out, who of course pleads her to stay because he has not yet settled his feelings in regards to the love triangle. Then the scene cuts to an exterior shot of el Paraiso, and it's indicated that time has gone by. We then see Alejandro and Marian's son surrounded by kids, presents, and a clown. Then Marian and Alejandro are exchanging a few words, smiling and seemingly happy together. They are soon joined by Francesca and Ricardo, with Francesca standing on the other side of Alejandro and Ricardo on the other side of Alejandro. Then Francesca turns to Alejandro and asks if he's ready to leave, to which he replies that he is but not before arranging to take Alejandrito next weekend. Then they head to the other room and share a last on-screen kiss and Ricardo and Marian do the same. I always appreciate a novela's attempt at a surprise ending, but only when it's done effectively. This wasn't. It was a giant insult to the fans because it made everything leading up to this completely pointless. Marian and Alejandro fought to defend their love but in vain because they ultimately didn't end up together. Francesca came between them, when it seemed that nothing not nobody would. And Ricardo and Marian were so unbelievable as a couple; he was clearly obsessed with her and she never appeared to love him. She friendzoned him on several occasions. The fact that Hector Suarez Gomis was so unlikable didn't help either. Alejandro became so unlikable at this point as well for obvious reasons. In a way the ending seemed forced. It also made me feel like I had just wasted my time following the novela. I'm compelled to think that there was a major disagreement between the producers and writers, and this was the writers' way of fighting back. Or everyone just hated the fans. Either way it was painful to watch and consequently ruined an otherwise great novela.
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