Love at First Sight Review
Love at First Sight (2023) Film Review, a movie directed by Vanessa Caswill, written by Katie Lovejoy and Jennifer E. Smith and starring Haley Lu Richardson, Ben Hardy, Rob Delaney, Katrina Nare, Jameela Jamil, Tom Taylor, Dexter Fletcher, Sally Phillips, Tracy Wiles, Philip Bird, Ibinabo Jack, Jessica Ransom, Leigh Quinn and Kerry Howard.
Director Vanessa Caswill brings a fairy tale to life in the new Netflix film, Love at First Sight. It stars Haley Lu Richardson who has had a lot of roles which have been able to show the actress’s incredible range. Columbus, Five Feet Apart and Montana Story all displayed her talents for both comedic and dramatic acting. In Caswill’s new romantic, comedic drama, Richardson has a lot of heart, energy and humor driving the movie and making it an overall success. It was said she was considered to play Batgirl, but Richardson’s abilities are probably best suited for character driven movies such as the new Netflix picture.
Cast opposite Richardson as her love interest is Ben Hardy who has some chemistry with her in Love at First Sight but not enough to make the movie a total home run. Still, the cute nature of the movie carries it through some implausibilities making it enjoyable enough for the every day moviegoer. It’s already a number 1 selection on Netflix.
Narrated by Jameela Jamil, the film’s main story starts at the airport in late December as Hadley Sullivan (Richardson) is introduced to the audience. She doesn’t have a history of having much of a long cell phone battery life expectancy. She’s headed to see her dad, Andrew (Rob Delaney) in London. Andrew is divorced from Hadley’s mom and is getting remarried to a woman named Charlotte (Katrina Nare). Hadley misses her flight and goes to charge her cell phone but no working charging stations are available. Enter a handsome guy named Oliver Jones (Hardy) who offers to help her charge her phone. His own cell phone battery tends to have a better life expectancy than Hadley’s. Opposites attract. It’s a classic meet cute scenario and it plays out romantically.
By a twist of fate, Hadley and Oliver end up seated together in the business class section of the same plane to London. Only in the movies! But, there are some beautiful conversations between Hadley and Oliver about every day life that make these scenes incredibly entertaining. Initially, Oliver makes Hadley comfortable during the flight’s take-off and they seem destined to be with one another. Then, when the plane lands, her cell phone falls and dies after she tries to get Oliver’s number entered into it. Complications then ensue.
The movie parallels the two characters’ lives as they separate. Oliver’s mom, Tessa (a fine Sally Phillips), is a Shakespeare enthusiast who is dying of lung cancer and having a celebration of life with her family and friends before she passes. Oliver’s dad is well played by Dexter Fletcher. Meanwhile, Hadley takes off after her dad’s wedding to look for Oliver. The two somehow find each other but a series of events will soon test their loyalty and love for one another.
Love at First Sight is implausible but enjoyable. Feelings develop too fast, the characters seem too comfortable with one another rather quickly, and the idea that all the events that transpire within the movie could happen within a day or so seems awfully silly. However, Caswill manages to get it all to work thanks mostly to Richardson who shines brighter than ever. If Hardy’s performance works well, it’s because of Richardson’s ability to play off what he says terrifically.
When Hadley gets lost walking around town and ditches her red high heels for a pair of running shoes, it’s a hilariously on-point moment. Love at First Sight has a lot of tender moments too. Oliver gives a heartfelt speech about his mother and Hadley gets to bond with her dad and get a dance with him. These scenes are moving and will be relatable to many viewers.
There are a lot of movies like Love at First Sight that try to follow a romantic formula but they usually fall flat. This new Netflix film is successful because it stars a talent like Richardson who makes the movie rise above an average Hallmark or Lifetime movie. Richardson’s character almost always has the right answer to the questions she is asked in the film and usually knows just what to say and Richardson portrays that confidence perfectly.
You may not believe that this Netflix movie could really happen but, according to the statistics used by the narrator in the movie, there is some probability that it could happen. That’s good enough for me. Haley Lu Richardson gets to be at her finest in the short (90 minutes) but sweet Love at First Sight so check it out on Netflix.
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