I had zero expectations when watching Love at First Sight. In fact, I saw a poster of it and quickly dismissed it as a movie I wasn’t even sure I would watch. Then I decided to read The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight. I enjoyed the book, as I did with Jennifer E. Smith’s other book Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between. However, I wasn’t a fan of the movie adaptation of that book. Therefore, I expected to feel the same about this newest Netflix movie version of a Jennifer E. Smith book, but I ended up really loving Love at First Sight. It's a Netflix romantic movie done very well.
Netflix has done an okay job with its romantic movies but there definitely have been quite a few misses, especially recently. However, Love at First Sight is one of the Netflix romantic movies that gives me hope for the future of them. In fact, I hope they use this movie as a blueprint for some of the upcoming Netflix movies, especially the romance or book adaptations.
Warning Love At First Sight spoilers ahead. Proceed with caution.
I Think The Leads Have Better Chemistry Than A Lot Of Netflix Romance Movie Couples
I would never deny the chemistry of Lana Condor and Noah Centineo in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy or Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell in Set It Up but they’re probably the creme de la creme of Netflix romantic movies couples. Some of these Netflix movie couples have had fine chemistry but only a few have made me want to watch them together in many movies. I felt this way about Ben Hardy and Haley Lu Richardson in Love at First Sight. I could watch them fall in love in many other movies and TV shows.
This is an achievement because this is the first movie that I’ve seen with Hardy as the romantic movie leading man. I had no expectations and didn’t know if he would deliver as a main love interest. I was already invested in Hadley and Oliver from enjoying their dynamic in the original book.
The movie made me enjoy them even more as a couple. I credit screenwriter Katie Lovejoy with being able to translate them well from book to screen. Additionally, I really believe that Richardson and Hardy made these characters likable enough to make me want them to be together.
It Doesn’t Shy Away From The Romantic Drama Label
Love at First Sight has some classic romantic comedy elements but I would argue it’s more of a romantic drama than a comedy. It’s not really funny or silly, and quite serious at times, especially dealing with things such as divorce and death. It seems to me like the movie world is scared of the romantic drama label, so marketing teams try to make everything with romance part of the romantic comedies world, at least that’s how these romance films are being promoted.
All romance films don’t have to be romantic comedies. In fact, I think we need more romantic dramas. Some of my favorite romance movies fall into that category, such as Atonement, The Notebook, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. These are all great movies and all romantic dramas with some comedy in them. Romantic dramas can be just as interesting and entertaining when done well. Love at First Sight shows that Netflix should do more romantic dramas along with their comedies.
Love At First Sight Showcases Various Types Of Love Stories, Even Ones That End Sadly
I really enjoyed that Love at First Sight is a love story but it’s also a story about taking a chance on love even when the odds are against a happily ever after. Hadley knows that sometimes a love story ends in divorce. She fears that outcome. Oliver is dealing with the impending death of his mother. He has a solid love story with his parents as proof that marriage can work, but he also knows that sometimes life can be cruel and take the one you love away.
They both have reasons to fear and hide from love but they choose to take a chance. They choose each other. This gives Love at First Sight a little bit more depth than many other romantic movies on Netflix. It shows love as beautiful but it can also be tragic. The film argues that you have to continue to love despite the uncertainty of it.
The Main Characters Feel More Developed Than Some Other Characters In Netflix Romantic Movies
I like Oliver and Hadley together, but they also feel like characters who exist without each other. What I mean is that sometimes characters lack depth in romantic movies. One character feels like it only exists for the other character. This is one of the things that the Barbie movie and others like it were making a commentary on with Ken (Ryan Gosling) only existing for Barbie (Margot Robbie). From the short time we spent with Oliver and Hadley, I can picture their lives when not together. They don’t only exist for each other.
They’re characters with a life beyond who they’re dating.
Love At First Sight Feels Whimsical But Not Cheesy
The Narrator (Jameela Jamil) gives the movie a bit of a whimsical nature. It feels more like a storybook, which makes it have a fairytale-like nature. Love at First Sight is all about fate and destiny but in a realistic way. It’s a chance encounter that turns into something meaningful. This places it in the realm of reality, which helps emphasize the movie’s message about the wonder and power of love in real life.
It’s a feel-good romantic movie because it makes the idea of love magical. It doesn’t overdo it with the whimsy, so it keeps the movie from falling into some cheesy movie traps. I am not against cheesy romance but I enjoy it a bit more when a film can have whimsical elements but grounded in reality.
The Music Enhances The Film
Love at First Sight may use one too many songs but, overall, they work. The film creates so many moments because of the use of music. It reminds me a little bit of great teen shows that use music to create these very distinct moments that make you associate the song with them. The marriage of a great song and a TV moment is one of my favorite things to watch. Love at First Sight does this in a few scenes in the movie.
My favorite is the acoustic version of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” on the airplane. I would love to see more brilliant musical moments in future Netflix movies.
It Left Me Wanting To See More Of The Characters’ Story
I enjoyed Love At First Sight so much that I wanted to see more of Oliver and Hadley’s story play out on screen. The Narrator tells us what happens between them in the future, but I want to see it. I almost wish Love at First Sight was one of the Netflix romantic movies that got a sequel.
I want to watch the next chapters for Oliver and Hadley.
In my opinion, Love At First Sight is a positive step forward for Netflix and its romantic movie collection. I hope we get more romance movies that are as interesting and clever as this one.