Love at First Sight (2023)

Love at First Sight (2023)

PG-13

netflix

An abundantly charming romantic comedy that (narrowly) avoids the genre’s many pitfalls

7.5

Movie

United States of America
English
Drama, Romance
2023
VANESSA CASWILL
Andromeda Godfrey, Anthony Warren, Ben Hardy
91 min

TLDR

If you don’t smile at least once watching this, your heart is made of stone.

What it's about

After falling in love on a flight headed to London, Hadley (Haley Lu Richardson) and Oliver (Ben Hardy) decide to try their chances and see each other once more.

The take

Watching Love at First Sight, there are times you catch it almost falling into eye-rolling clichés, like when Hadley loses Oliver’s number or when their first kiss is interrupted by someone suddenly opening the door. But the film’s self-assured and self-aware charm subverts conventions and saves it from being just another cheesy rom-com you’d sooner skip on Netflix. The statistic-heavy narration by Jameela Jamil manages to be both amusing and romantic, and casting Jamil as an omnipresent chameleon who is fate-personified is an inspired move that helps the film move along smoothly. Though they lack sensual chemistry, Richardson and Hardy are individually, abundantly charming. It’s hard not to be moved by their stories, as common as they may be in movies like this. Love at First Sight is fluffy and familiar, but it is also the sort of heartwarming fare you’ll want to watch again and again, especially at Christmastime, when the movie is set.  

What stands out

If you take away the background music and replace it with a more sinister sound, Hadley and Oliver’s meet cute suddenly looks a lot more like a true-crime thriller than a rom-com. Which is to say, none of these romantic gestures would ever fly in real life! In real life, going out with a man you knew just minutes ago and telling him the details of your whereabouts is just dangerously stupid. But it’s a testament to the filmmakers that none of this hits you until much later; in the moment, you’re more than happy to ride the fantasy that all of this is plausible, romantic even.

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