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'Love at First Sight': What are the Odds?

The initial reaction and review of Netflix's newly released romantic comedy featuring Haley Lu Richardson and Ben Hardy. Spoilers included!

Love at First Sight (2023)

2.5 / 5
2.5 / 5

Love at First Sight, the Netflix adaptation of the book The Statistical Probability of Love at First Site by Jennifer E. Smith, is an adorable movie perfect for curling up and having a cozy night in. Featuring Haley Lu Richardson as Hadley Sullivan and Ben Hardy as Oliver Jones, we follow along as our two protagonists explore their newfound feelings for each other and embark on their new beginnings. 

 We are first introduced to Hadley and Oliver when they meet at an airport after they have missed their flight to London, England. Oliver, on his way to his mother’s wake and Hadley who is attending her father’s wedding, first lock eyes and instantly click. They talk, flirt, grab food and race to the next flight out. As fate would have it, they end up sitting next to each other and start to realize how big their feelings are starting to grow before they land and are separated with no way to get into contact. 

Hadley finds herself at her father’s wedding preparing herself for an unbearable evening. After the ceremony concludes, Hadley waits for the reception to begin when she hears other guests talk about the wake of Oliver’s mother, Tessa Jones. Following her heart, she rushes to find Oliver and finds herself conversing with a very much alive Tessa Jones, who explains that this celebration of life is for her to enjoy her friends and family before she dies, not after. 

Finally finding her way to Oliver, the spark they felt before is as bright and fiery as ever. But, a closed-off, emotionally distraught Oliver says things he can’t take back and has to watch as Hadley walks away. Regretting it immediately, he has no other choice but to accept that his beautiful Hadley is gone, that is until a stranger brings him Hadley’s bag. Gathering his family, they drive across the city to find her. When Oliver reaches Hadley, he apologizes, speaks his honest truth, and they finally share their happy-ever-after ending, proving love at first sight truly does exist. But, for our dear true loves, it is only the beginning.

While Love at First Sight is predictable and has every young adult romance cliche, it is a cute little movie. But something that makes it unique is our narrator, Jameela Jamil. We see her as the flight attendant, a person from the airport, the stranger who gives Oliver Hadley’s bag, and more. But she is also playing the role of fate. Inconspicuously encouraging our protagonists to chase after one another and letting them see what the universe has planned, Jameela Jamil plays a pivotal role in shaping our story. This unique narrative design lets us see, quite literally, our third-person omniscient narrator in a completely new way and allows them to play a dynamic character in an otherwise two-dimensional role. 

The one thing that I love about this movie, however, is the ending. But it isn’t quite the ending of Hadley and Oliver’s story, it is only the beginning. Something often sought after when typical romance movies conclude, we are now indulged in. Normally, we follow along to see what it takes for our two protagonists to be together, what they have to work and fight through to finally be united and that is where their story ends for us. Here, we are not only able to see Oliver and Hadley’s beginning but we also catch a glimpse of what their middle and end look like, something the vast majority of romance books and movies lack. This kind of ending offers the viewer a complete story of its characters and offers a closure so many of us have craved.