This film is formulaic but its actors and central love story do enough to sustain its nearly two-hour run time. That's not to say that everything in Purple Hearts hits its mark. Cassie and Luke are meant to embody stereotypes of opposite ends of the political spectrum -- she the "lib snowflake," he the conservative military brat. Some of their arguments, especially those involving Luke's exaggerated Marine peers, feel very much scripted and only skirt the edges of serious topics. But their finding of common ground sends a positive message in polarizing times, and the evolution of their affection for each other feels believable enough.
Carson is the real standout in the movie, coming across as more authentic than many of her free-spirited, tough-girl film predecessors. She certainly has stage presence as a musical performer. Galitzine is a sensitive actor and is movie-star handsome, but his best scenes here are those with Carson. Sneakerella's Jacobs is also solid in a supporting role. The film runs a bit long, partly because it wants to let Carson perform at least three or four full songs (and star in an ending that looks and feels like a music video or an Instagram reel). Carson fans and the movie's target teen audience won't mind this at all.
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.
Images courtesy of Netflix.