While there are plenty of good rom-coms out there, so many of them nowadays are subpar. With their derivative plots and unnecessarily contrived conflict, they are rarely worth the audience’s time. Netflix’s newest entry in the extensive genre is quite the exception. In fact, Love at First Sight is the delightful addition audiences need right now. The film follows an American named Hadley (Haley Lu Richardson) and an Englishman named Oliver (Ben Hardy), who are both headed to London for very different reasons.
Hadley is the kind of person who is always late, with a cell phone perpetually on the cusp of dying. Oliver, on the other hand, is nearly never late, and his cell phone always has a full battery. While waiting for their plane to depart New York City, Oliver offers Hadley his phone charger, and thus begins the spark that lights the flame of this particular romance. Jameela Jamil narrates the movie while also playing various background characters who support Hadley and Oliver throughout their fated adventure. She also occasionally breaks the fourth wall in a whimsically amusing manner.
The movie takes place just before Christmas, however, it’s not actually a Christmas movie. While it could easily be added to the annual watchlist of feel-good holiday movies, it can also be enjoyed any time of the year. Love at First Sight is a delightfully rewatchable movie everyone needs right now. It’s a plausible rom-com, it’s fun and quirky in all the right ways, it has surprising emotional depth, and its two main characters have great chemistry.
A Plausible Rom-Com
For nearly every rom-com out there, ensuring the storyline is plausible seems like an impossible task. However, Love at First Sight does so with ease. The circumstances of Hadley and Oliver’s meet-cute, as well as their reason for parting ways after their introduction, make sense. While there are still a few convenient occurrences that push the characters together (or apart), it’s still a rom-com after all; it doesn’t feel egregiously contrived. After hanging out with someone for so many hours in close quarters on a plane, it’s completely realistic that the two main characters would want to keep vibing with one another.
The film’s plausibility is refreshing and believable, which puts it in a higher class of rom-coms. While a few instances throughout the film might feel a little too convenient, the narrator humorously points them out in a way that makes those circumstances feel necessary and natural for the movie.
Furthermore, Love at First Sight doesn’t induce endless amounts of eye-rolling, nor does it have the same cringe-worthy moments comprised of so many other rom-coms. The movie isn’t a wild declaration of love at first sight, but rather what can happen when you feel an initial spark with another person and decide to follow that figurative path toward them. It just makes sense.
Fun and Quirky
Love at First Sight manages to be fun and quirky in its own way without feeling as though it’s trying too hard to be something audiences enjoy. One of the quirkiest aspects of the film is its use of statistics. When Oliver and Hadley initially meet, he tells her he’s studying statistics at Yale, so in true rom-com fashion, the film is littered with them from the onset.
The odds and percentages of certain situations or occurrences are routinely discussed and ultimately play a huge role in the progression of the movie. On its surface, the continuous use of stats might seem irritating to the casual viewer. However, the way in which Love at First Sight scatters stats and percentages throughout the film while also openly discussing some of them, thanks to Oliver, makes the movie even more delightful to watch. The movie’s biggest quirk is what makes it so fun.
Surprising Emotional Depth
Unlike the plethora of rom-coms out there, Love at First Sight has quite a bit of emotional depth. There are no one-dimensional villains anywhere to be seen in the movie. In fact, every character is genuine, so there isn’t egregiously contrived drama moving the story forward. Rather, it’s actual human connection, which viewers can easily relate to, continuously pushing the story along.
The family relationships alone are worth noting for their heartfelt authenticity. Those relationships in the film are the backbone of Love at First Sight, which allows the two main characters room to develop the way they do. Without the connection Hadley and Oliver have with their own families, it could easily be argued that the premise of the film would be moot. Such interactions are why viewers need a tissue or two to wipe away their tears.
In a film that proclaims to be more about fate than love, the two main characters could easily leave audiences believing otherwise. While the movie is tame when it comes to romance, the flirtatious interactions between Hadley and Oliver are a huge reason why viewers root for their prospective relationship. They have great chemistry together and ultimately make viewers believe in love at first sight. Of all the rom-coms available to watch right now, Love at First Sight should be at the top of the list. Given its charming nature and quirky appeal, it’s definitely the movie audiences need right now.
Love at First Sight is now available to stream on Netflix.