It’s a story as old as time marriage fraud to gain money and health benefits. Purple Hearts is now on Netflix, and it may even be very relevant for today’s society. But is it worth checking out? Here is my review of the Netflix romantic drama movie Purple Hearts (2022).
Purple Hearts (2022) | Netflix Movie Review
In spite of their many differences, Cassie, a struggling singer-songwriter, and Luke, a troubled Marine, agree to marry solely for military benefits. But when tragedy strikes, the line between real and pretend begins to blur.
The stars are Sofia Carson and Nicholas Galitzine as Cassie and Luke, respectively, met in a bar where Cassie is working and they don’t hit it off at all. But because each of them is dealing with some huge financial hardships, they work out a plan to get married just in order to take advantage of the military benefits.
This is a romantic drama that is incredibly predictable pretty much from start to finish. The way the characters are set up, they’re just maximized for tension and conflict.
Now, Luke is almost a prototypical American soldier boy. He’s conservative, arrogant, and angry. I’m not saying all soldiers are this way, but in a movie where the story wants to set up a conflict with a handsome lead, they need to have him flying. So it’s rather easy to just fall back on him being those stereotypical things that I had listed.
And sure, he does have more nuance than just that, but you kind of get the gist of him right off the bat. And Cassie is pretty much the polar opposite, at least in ideals. She’s liberal, not a fan of the government, but also angry like Luke.
And some of the dialogue is a bit too forced, especially at the beginning when the two are just tossing insult remarks back and forth. She calls him commando, which he hates, and he calls her a lib tart. And both choices are obvious as insults, so they do come across as a bit cringy.
All through this, we watch the arc play out in very expected ways. If you saw the trailer, you know there’s a situation that causes the two to have to work together more closely than they anticipated.
And some of the sequences leading up to this point are rushed. But I don’t think we needed much more to just really gain our context. It’s just that the time feels compressed in areas, so things come about suddenly.
Now, a portion of the story revolves around Cassie pursuing her musical pool, and with that we get a decent amount of singing from Sofia Carson. In addition to acting, she’s also a singer in real life. So for the amount of singing we get in this, it begins to feel like we’re watching an anthology of music videos.
I didn’t mind too much because I did find the songs to be catchy and easy to listen to. But what ends up happening with all these musical numbers is that we get a longer movie than maybe we need. Or maybe certain story elements get more time when others should have received it instead.
The film is two hours and two minutes, and in some spots it was a little repetitive, especially if we’d hear a song being performed more than just once, even if it was just in portions. But that being said, I didn’t get bored with it.
The predictability didn’t bother me either, especially because I was being taken on a roller coaster ride of sorts with the emotions of our characters.
None of it ever felt blown out of proportion, but sometimes it did feel a bit tumultuous, which I think also added some realism to the story.
Our characters haven’t spent too much time with each other and they barely know each other, so it’s natural that they’d have a lot of ups and downs as they navigate the beginnings of their relationship, but there are things that they don’t talk about, but they really should, and that then causes more of conflict.
I’m impressed that the narrative takes quite a while to build out the characters before thrusting us into their relationship. While there is more that we can learn from Luke, I think there’s a good amount of development given to each of them to make them both somewhat endearing.
Luke is designed to be a little harder to connect with at the start just because of how closed off and gruff he is, but that also then allows the story to take us on his change journey.
I think we get some decent change that’s shown from Cassie as well, but that change isn’t necessarily as dramatic or as huge.
As the story went along, I found myself more and more invested in their relationship, knowing full well that hardships are going to be on the horizon in order to create story tension.
And the dynamic that’s shared between the two is passionate, meaning that there’s a ton of emotion carried in just every interaction. Sometimes they’re explosive, other times compassionate, but it’s always with conviction.
I think some of the story in the last half-ish of the movie is a bit rushed, especially when it comes to Luke and what he’s dealing with.
Time in this instance seems to just jump and then skip over days and maybe even weeks. I think there was an opportunity to really establish the change in character that Luke goes through.
I think also this time would have allowed a deepening of the relationship between Cassie and Luke, which then makes just everything that follows more emotionally engaging and impactful.
I was still enthralled in their relationship and probably just because I’m a sucker for a romance movie, but I think the time could have been used in a different way to help deepen the connections, which then makes some character actions and decisions that come later in the film that much more emotional.
There’s also another relationship angle with Luke that feels like it’s much more important than the story gives time to. Now the relationship itself is well defined, and it makes sense, but at the end of the film, lines of dialogue, they just don’t feel earned within this relationship.
Now, I can make it make sense and rationalize it, but the story doesn’t do a good job from transitioning us from one set of interactions to the other. But even with that unevenness of story focus, I still left the film with a smile. It was a pleasant surprise at how much I ended up getting sucked into the story. As I said, I’m a sucker for a romance, and this one delivered.
Overall, Purple Hearts is a sweet story of growth and finding love where you didn’t expect. I enjoyed the character dynamics, creating a relationship that was engaging without being sappy or overly antagonistic.
While the story elements were uneven in their focus, giving attention to some portions when others should have had more prominence, then, despite its obvious trajectory and predictability, the narrative creates a world where we want our main characters to succeed.
And I especially enjoyed the music because it was catchy, melodic, and thematically complimentary. There’s sex, no nudity, a lot of profanity, and some violence.
I am going to give Purple Hearts 3/5.
So what do you think about this movie? Let me know in the comments below.
Guys thank you so much for reading the review of Purple Hearts (2022). See you next time.