Friday, July 29, 2022

Purple Hearts: Movie Review

A tear-jerker romantic drama on the political spectrum.
Purple Hearts is an opposites-attract, tear-jerker romantic drama. It’s definitely carving its own place within the genre since the characters aren’t cookie-cutter, and their current world views have been accurately created out of their upbringing. But at the same time, their world views very much echo the prototypical left-leaning and right-leaning Twitter Gen Zs, such that their nonstop antagonistic lingo feels manufactured and not real.   2022

Directed by: Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum

Screenplay by: Liz W. Garcia, Kyle Jarrow

Starring: Sofia Carson, Nicholas Galitzine

Cassie (Sofia Carson) is a 1st generation Mexican-American, working at a bar, trying to make ends meet, trying to become a singer-songwriter. But she’s also very opinionated. She doesn’t like Marines because they’re guns first, and she really hates Marines mansplaining feminism to her. Luke (Nicholas Galitzine) is a Marine and he hates left-leaning feminists who dismiss all Marines with the same anti-patriotism brush. I’m pretty sure you get the idea, and yes the dialogue definitely gets annoying at times. The film is obviously trying to straddle both sides of the political divide, but it may actually work since it never goes too conservative or too liberal.

Cassie has type 1 diabetes and needs insulin, and of course her insurance doesn’t cover it, and her only family is her mother who doesn’t have the cash to help her. Meanwhile Luke is running away (literally) from his drug-addicted past and has joined the Marines to both get his act straight and try to convince his family that he got his act straight. Cassie needs health insurance, Luke needs money to pay off his former dealer. And guess what? Married marines get health insurance for their spouse and additional pay.

The problems are obvious – they hate each other. Luke believes that you should only get married for love and a fake marriage is wrong (morally and legally) because it’s ripping off the government. My first issue is I think Cassie should have forced Luke to define love. If you believe marriage should only be for love, then you should be able to explain what that does and doesn’t entail. We skip past that, they’re married and they act like it’s torture to pretend to like each other.

Obviously they like each other. Especially considering how quickly Cassie starts adopting some conservative viewpoints. While Luke is in Iraq – which is real the US still has armed forces in Iraq – Cassie is quickly becoming a music star. Sofia Carson is fantastic, it’s easy to believe that she would become a viral sensation, and the songs, which have been influenced by her Marine husband, are enjoyable across the political divide.

Despite finding the politically divisive dialogue annoying, the romance between Cassie and Luke is enjoyable. And they obviously shouldn’t have been so blind to their fast-forming love, but otherwise it wouldn’t be a tear-jearker romance. Ultimately Purple Hearts is a worthwhile addition to the genre, even if it does try way too hard too often.