When I first saw the trailer for Netflix purple heartsLike many of you, perhaps, I rolled my eyes. A love story about a fake military marriage for benefits? Give me a break.
I almost hated it, because it seemed like it was going to be so easy. But I’m here to report that after watching it myself, it’s fine. As in, it made me rip by a good ending.
The story is about Lance Cpl. Luke Morrow, a recovering junkie who joined the Marines to prove himself to his father, and Casey Salazar, a singer/songwriter with type 1 diabetes. Moreau, played by Nicholas Galtzen, is preparing to spread to Iraq but has huge debts with a former drug dealer to pay off. And Salazar, played by Sophia Carson, ran out of money for much-needed insulin to “literally survive,” she says indignantly as she and Moreau work out the details of their arrangement at the dinner booth.
This article contains light spoilers from purple heartswhich was released on Netflix on July 29.
Almost from the start, the two were at odds. She is a feminist who swore to service members because she later revealed that her mother had a “chain of friends from the base”. Moments after meeting her, Moreau confidently describes her as “predictable”, someone who tweets “a lot about the rights of others” but actually doesn’t “want to do anything” because “weapons are mean”. It’s a republican, it’s a democracy. She loves hot sauce on breakfast tacos, and he hates it. She wants an iguana as a pet, he never wants that.
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Within the first ten minutes of the film, one of Salazar’s girlfriends said that a Marine joked that she should marry him to get health care.
“Do you see the guy who looks like he’s 12 years old?” asks Nora, a bandmate performed by Kat Canning who works at the bar with Salazar. “He told me I should reconsider my position on men because if I married I would have incredible health insurance.”
“Wow, health insurance,” Salazar says sarcastically. “That’s some dirty talk over there.”
purple hearts Filmed at Camp Pendleton, it’s a clear example of the classic foes-to-lovers metaphor as you’ll find it. And while the movie isn’t short of stereotypes — sexist Marines, unruly military, stubborn feminists who have been burnt too many times — it’s a truly honest and entertaining movie. Galitzine and Carson have undeniable on-screen chemistry, and though cheesy at times, the story is definitely fun enough to keep you entertained.
Soon after meeting for the first time, the idea of marriage for the sake of benefits becomes more realistic as Salazar realizes that she is completely out of options to obtain insulin. She first approaches childhood friend Frankie, played by Chausen Jacobs, about the idea of a fictitious marriage. The idea is gently dismissed as Frankie says he’s taking his girlfriend seriously.
Enter Moro. While at first he scolds the idea when he overhears Salazar talking to Frankie—his little buddy, go figure—because his father, a retired Marine deputy, later changes his tune, the old drug dealer comes in demanding the $15,000 he owes Morrow. He says married soldiers get more money. One thing leads to another, and soon Salazar and Moreau are married in court with Frankie as their only witness.
The night before Morrow and the rest of his unit walked out—the same day the two supposed lovebirds malfunctioned—they got into a fight in front of other Marines and other VIPs. As the fight escalates, Moreau remembers what they were supposed to pull out. He approaches her and pretends to be a make-up while his friends watch and crack jokes from inside a restaurant.
Later that evening, the two should share a hotel room. Moreau tells her that it is tradition for Marines and their loved ones to stay there the night before the deployment. Don’t you know, there’s only one bed.
The whole story is an emotional tug of war. When they get close, something happens that pushes them away. When one appears to fall, the other appears to be away. But while the trailer appears to paint Salazar as “fallout,” a derogatory term typically used for service members’ wives who do nothing while a service member does hard work, it’s clear in the movie that Moreau relies on her. Although they were planning to divorce quickly after Morrow returned from Iraq, tragic blows, and Morrow was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED). Before they knew it, the promises they made to take care of each other “in sickness and in health” became more real than they could have imagined.
Given my previous hot movie footage, it’s perhaps no surprise that I’m as smitten with romantic dramas as the next person. But when I started viewing the movie with a critical eye for this article, I quickly found myself completely immersed, with my Google Doc of Notes sitting nearly blank as I watched the story play out.
finally, purple hearts It has something for everyone: a solidly entertaining story with great chemistry for romance lovers, and a chance to mock an army-related movie for people who, well, they’ve always been making fun of anyway.
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