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May 27, 2024

Love at first sight: statistically basic, but perfectly heartwarming

A cute, fluffy rom-com where two strangers fall in love on a flight to London, and have to try to beat the odds to meet again.

Based on: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, by Jennifer E. Smith

Cinematography: Luke Bryant

Edited by: Michelle Harrison; Joe Klotz

Director: Vanessa Caswill

Hadley (Haley Lu Richardson) and Oliver (Ben Hardy).

Topping the Netflix charts for a week after its release, Netflix’s new original movie, “Love at First Sight,” is a story about two college students who fall in love on a flight to London. Hadley (Haley Lu Richardson) and Oliver (Ben Hardy) meet-cute in a candy-colored JFK when Hadley’s phone dies, and Oliver gallantly offers her his charger. They lock eyes and…you can probably guess the rest.

But nothing is left to the imagination: after a lot of self-conscious chuckling and casual oversharing, the two continue bonding over dinner. Then, a broken airplane seatbelt leads to a shared nap in business, and a heart-to-heart leads to an almost-kiss in the line for the bathroom. 

The plot is unbelievably basic; the characters are quirky and predictable; but the beauty of this movie is its self-awareness. It knows it’s not the next Great American Movie. It doesn’t want to be. It has a beginning you’ve seen before, and an ending you can see coming from miles away, but it still makes you feel all cozy and cute.

The narrator explains it beautifully: “Over the next 6 hours and 47 minutes Hadley Sullivan and Oliver Jones will fall in love. But then 18 minutes after they land, they’ll be separated in a crowd and never see each other again. Well, that’s unless they get each other’s name or number or email, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook. There’s loads of options really.”  

Like the tongue-in-cheek commentary, the movie adds little unique spins to an otherwise predictable story. But ultimately, all it aspires to be is a cute story that tugs at the corners of your mouth, plucks at your heartstrings, and leaves you content after 90 minutes.

The movie itself is also very pretty–the scenery, lighting and cinematography are all aesthetically pleasing. 

The saturated colors and conventional camera shots are meshed with smooth tilt shots, overhead perspectives, and some ultramodern closeups that sync chicly with the quick dialogue. 

The poppy, colorful outfits and warm lighting paint London in bright pinks, deep reds, and shades of turquoise, where everyone from the extras in bubblegum-pink headphones to the flight attendants with glittery, electric eyeshadow looks aesthetic and eccentric. 

The flashes of images and colors keep your eyes on the screen even when the plot might dull out a little.

The movie adds some depth when it briefly brings in some family-related trauma, like divorce and death. However, it doesn’t really get explored too much. Both of the characters facing a manifestation of their trauma is more of a plot point to create a connection between them, than an actual exploration of their fears. 

But the actors’ great chemistry and performance save an otherwise tired plot. Hadley’s real and authentic concern for Oliver, and Ben Hardy’s performance of Oliver’s anguished outburst of pent-up frustration, make you forget it’s just a movie. Their authentic dialogue and bona fide connection is a beautifully honest display of modern love. 

All in all, it’s picturesque, whimsical, and everything you need to escape from real life for a little while. Director Vanessa Caswill paints the world in beautiful shades of hesitant optimism, kindness and hope, where true love is just around the corner, or just a flight away.

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About the Contributor
Ana Iacoviello
Ana Iacoviello, Features Editor
Ana is a junior at Carrollton and the current Features Editor for The Beat. She writes for the Beat to inform her community about important events and to create an outlet for people to voice their opinions. Ana has been in journalism since sophomore year, and was awarded an Honorable Mention in Features writing at the JEA Convention in San Francisco.

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    Paola ConsuegraDec 25, 2023 at 9:33 am

    Looks like a good one to see on a rainy Sunday afternoon ❤️