Purple Hearts is Netflix’s newest romance drama starring Sofia Carson and Nicholas Galitzine. The film centers around the two young adults (one an aspiring musician and the other a Marine) who plan a “fake marriage” in order to gain financial military benefits. But here’s the catch – as with most romance movies, the two start off absolutely despising one another. Don’t you worry though! In typical romance movie fashion, they learn to set aside their differences and slowly fall in love. You must be wondering, is this new Netflix original worth a watch? Keep reading to find out.

Cassie and Luke getting "fake" married

I’m just going to go ahead and say it – I did not enjoy the first, maybe 30 minutes of the movie at all. I was immediately concerned that the plot was going to be textbook romance, plain, and overly cliché. Upon meeting the characters for the first time, I did not find a single one likable (which is a talent in itself!) and it wasn’t till midway through that I started warming up to them. To be completely honest, I never even really liked Cassie (Carson’s character), which is certainly a problem considering she’s the protagonist. She just seemed way too edgy and moody for my liking, and her arguments on social issues felt too forced. It didn’t seem like she got much character development either, she kind of just all of a sudden realized she was in love. Look, I’m not a fan of the really guarded, “I don’t believe in love” type of characters to begin with, so that didn’t really help me like her character anyway.

Luke on the other hand, played by Galitzine, was a much more relatable character that I grew to like and root for throughout the rest of the movie. I do feel that his problematic past involving drugs was a bit too stereotypical and I hated how it was ignored during many points of the film. I personally wished they focused more on his rehab after his leg injury because the whole drug dealer situation felt like it was added for drama, not for advancing the plot. I also would’ve liked it if Luke’s relationship with his father was better explored because while it seemed like it would be a major issue midway through the film, by the end, it didn’t seem like any of it mattered.

Cassie comforting Luke and helping him bathe

One aspect that I did really enjoy from Purple Hearts is that the romance itself never felt overly sappy or cheesy. There were moments when the two had scenes together that felt intimate and private, as if we were witnessing a real couple together. Of course, a lot of the arguments they had also felt too scripted and unrealistic, but let’s just focus on the positives okay.

I also thought that the way the film depicted the soldiers and their deployment was overall well done. I can’t speak to its authenticity, but those scenes were definitely the most emotional and raw moments of the film. From the scene where the soldiers were sharing their farewells with their loved ones, to watching the unspeakable tension of the soldiers as they’re on the field, to the heartbreaking funeral of a fellow comrade, these were all highlights of the film for me. (I was really sad when Frankie died, he was one of the most likable characters for me 😦 ) The best parts were always the scenes where it felt genuine and real, and that was mostly whenever it was about the soldiers.

Last thing, since Cassie is an aspiring musician, yes, there is a lot of music in the movie. Was it good? I guess it was okay – some of the songs were sweet and rather moving, but some of them felt kind of cheesy. I felt like the film could’ve done with way less singing personally (maybe focus more on the plot and developing the characters next time?).

All in all, it’s a decent movie. I don’t regret watching it and I was still satisfied by the end. At the end of the day, it’s a romance movie, so if I get to see a bit of romance that feels realistic and sweet, I’m happy. With that being said, I’m going to give Purple Hearts a 6/10. I can’t say it’s particularly special or different, so if generic romance dramas aren’t up your alley, I’d say just stay away from this one. It does do the job though so if you’re looking for something new to watch that’ll kill some time, go for it!