The Next 365 Days Ending Explained (In Detail)

3


Summary

  • The Next 365 Days ending surprises viewers with its grounded and mature approach, deviating from the over-the-top plot of the previous films in the trilogy.
  • The ending focuses on consent and agency, giving Laura more control over her own decisions and showing that Massimo understands the importance of consent.
  • While critics are dissatisfied with the ending, fans also express disappointment, questioning the open-ended nature and the difficulty Laura faces in choosing between two troubled love interests.


SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

Netflix’s controversial 365 Days trilogy has come to a close with The Next 365 Days, prompting viewers to wonder what the surprisingly calm The Next 365 Days ending means for the wild trilogy. While the 365 Days movies are undeniably full of clichés, that doesn’t make the trilogy in any way predictable. For example, while many viewers familiar with the romance genre might have predicted that Laura and Massimo would eventually fall in love in the original 365 Days, few would have guessed that this would happen when Massimo held her hostage for the titular time period. Similarly, viewers watching 365 Days: This Day couldn’t have guessed that Massimo didn’t cheat on Laura, his until-now unmentioned evil twin did. The 365 Days trilogy was full of this type of wild, soapy twist.

Ironically, the most surprising thing about The Next 365 Days ending is that the closing chapter of the series is its most grounded outing so far. The Next 365 Days drops the absurd, over-the-top soap opera plotting of the earlier 365 Days movies, focusing on a love triangle between Nacho, Laura, and Massimo that never boils over into gunfights, murders, kidnappings, or even a punch-up between the two potential love interests. Instead, in a truly unexpected twist, both Massimo and Nacho decide to respect Laura’s wishes and let her make her own decisions about her love life. Laura’s life isn’t threatened in the Netflix movie ending (which is a first for the 365 Days movies), but she does appear to choose one suitor over the other.


What Happens In The Next 365 Days Ending

A blended image features the characters of The Next 365 Days in a shower and in thought

The majority of The Next 365 Days sees Massimo and Laura drifting apart after the dramatic, life-endangering events of 365 Days: This Day. Laura finally tells Massimo that she lost her pregnancy in a car crash at the end of the original 365 Days and Massimo is hurt that she didn’t inform him at the time. This drives a wedge between the duo, resulting in Laura eventually sleeping with Nacho while she is in Portugal on business. Massimo offers Laura space to work out what’s best for her, she fantasizes about a threesome between her, Nacho, and Massimo, visits her parents, and eventually returns to Massimo.

Critics horrified by the popular but badly reviewed 365 Days movies and their depiction of glamorous, romanticized fantasy versions of abusive dynamics could be relieved by what then occurs. Massimo, the mob boss who once held Laura hostage for a year to force her to fall in love with him, sits on the beach and says he only wants to be with her if it is what she truly wants.

How The Next 365 Days Changes The Book’s Plot

Massimo in 365 Days 2 trailer

While the ambiguous ending of The Next 365 Days does appear to imply that Laura and Massimo will stay together, this is far from the biggest change that the movie adaptation makes to the original novel. The novel The Next 365 Days sees Laura leave Massimo to be with Nacho, only for Massimo to send Laura the dead body of her pet dog in the post.

In a bizarre twist that the story apparently borrowed from Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Massimo claims Nacho killed her dog, gets Laura back, and immediately imprisons her in his mansion again. When Laura discovers Massimo is the one who killed her dog, it is not long before she seduces him, escapes, and runs off with Nacho. Surprisingly, Massimo then assents to divorce, meaning Laura and Nacho end up living happily ever after and the unhinged mob boss simply accepts that his former paramour is gone for good.

Do Laura and Massimo Stay Together In The Next 365 Days Ending

Massimo and laura embracing in The Next 365 Days

The Next 365 Days ending doesn’t confirm whether Laura and Massimo stay together for good one way or the other. However, when the credits roll on the Netflix romance trilogy, it seems likely that the pair will not break up again. Where the two earlier 365 Days movies ended with a fake-out Laura death, The Next 365 Days ending sees Massimo finally directly ask Laura who she wants to be with, him or Nacho.

Laura and Massimo don’t explicitly reconcile, with The Next 365 Days ending with Massimo asking whether Laura is “back” after sharing a sweet story and life lesson that his late father taught him. It seems Massimo Senior explained to his son that if you love something, you must let it go to see whether it comes back, and that is how you know whether a relationship is meant to be. According to The Next 365 Days ending, that’s what Massimo did when he accepted that Laura wanted to be with Nacho and awaited her return.

Related: Every 365 Days Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

What Does The Next 365 Days Ending Really Mean?

A blended image features the characters from the 365 Days movies in a blue tone

The ending of The Next 365 Days represents a shift in the trilogy’s attitudes toward consent. Both 365 Days: This Day and the original 365 Days were despised by critics for their perceived glamorization of toxic, dangerous relationship dynamics, with the franchise’s defenders noting that the movies were campy, over-the-top fantasies not designed to be taken seriously. However, The Next 365 Days ending does take the story relatively seriously, jettisoning the wildly silly plot of the source novel for a (comparatively) muted, mature ending to the franchise.

The franchise finally gives Laura some agency of her own, proves that Massimo is capable of understanding the concept of consent, and depicts both its male love interests as characters who want the best for their partner rather than their own needs prioritized. It isn’t particularly in line with the tone of the preceding movies but, surprising as it may seem, the much more grounded The Next 365 Days does address the most common criticisms of the franchise. Where the original controversial 365 Days was criticized as a celebration of toxic tropes (and defended as a goofy, overtly silly fantasy), the final 365 Days movie applies basic ideas of consent and agency to the problematic framework set out by the earlier movies in the series.

While The Next 365 Days ending doesn’t tell viewers whether Laura and Massimo ended up together, it does tell them that the decision will be one that the pair come to together — which might be the biggest shock in the entire 365 Days trilogy.

How Fans Feel About The Next 365 Days Ending

Laura in The Next 365 Days

Critics were not exactly happy with The Next 365 Days ending. Jessica Kiang of Variety even called the plotting of the movie, and the trilogy as a whole “bone-tired.” Despite the critical opposition to the movies, they have remained incredibly popular to stream on Netflix. Part of that popularity comes from YouTubers reacting to the movie though, and they have quite a bit to say.

HeavySpoilers called the movies “Worst. Trilogy. Of. All. Time.” In fact, the only reason the YouTube channel decided to react to the ending of the trilogy is because they’d already invested time into the first two movies, and confirmed that they feel the third is the worst of the bunch. They also predict a fourth movie instead of the series capping as a trilogy simply because of the ambiguous nature of the ending. The prediction is that a fourth film could simply use the final chapters of the novel to inspire the story, sending Massimo and Nacho fully to war with one another, milking the final bit of the novels to get one more popular Netflix entry out of the source material.

Pop culture podcasters have also been reviewing and reacting to the Netflix movie, and Daniel Barnes of the Dare Daniel podcast largely has the same sentiments as the YouTubers reacting to the movie. Barnes said The Next 365 Days was “utterly lacking in new story developments.” Again, Barnes only watched the movie because he’d already watched the first two as well, and it was requested by a podcast audience member.

The consensus among Netflix fans is not that far off from critics and those reacting to the movie, however. Fans don’t love the ambiguous ending, wondering why a third movie that was supposed to cap a trilogy has left the movie open-ended.

Fans have also been wondering why The Next 365 ending makes it so hard for the main character to choose between the two men in her life. As X (formerly Twitter) user negressnparis points out, the decision shouldn’t be difficult after Massimo kidnapped you, is emotionally and verbally abusive, and all around has some deep rooted issues.”

It appears that, despite the popularity of the 365 Days movies, Netflix might have dragged the story out just a little too long to keep the fans happy. The Next 365 Days ending in ambiguity and a difficult decision might be the last straw for some of those who enjoy the movies.