Where I Watched it: Netflix
English Audio Description Available?: Yes
Sometimes, I play the game called “guess the grade”, where I see what a film is, and based on what the given set of knowledge about the project is, I try and figure out whether or not I’ll be giving it a certain grade. Purple Hearts, and really the Netflix track record this year, led me to believe this would have a very low score. Sofia Carson is the big draw here, and I’m not a big fan, nor have i noticed her sending things theatrical.
What we end up with is a Nicholas Sparks esque story about a young singer (quite a stretch for Carson) who is struggling to stay alive in the American healthcare system where she can’t afford to pay for her insulin.So, she cooks up an idea to become a military wife, because a single military guy would gain a lot too from being married instead of single. And she would get insulin. She originally pitches this to a guy she’s kinda friends with, who says no because it’s cheating the American system, but then Luke steps up. Luke is a guy with whom some sketchy stuff in the past has happened, and he could use the pay bump. He has nothing in common with his new wife, but that doesn’t matter because he’s shipped off instantly.
Any further plot description does kind of ruin the story. What I do have to offer are some good and bad things. On the good side, I wasn’t bothered by any of the performances, which is unusual since this cast is almost entirely unknown and this plot ran really close to a Lifetime/Hallmark film. Not that anyone here is Oscar bound, I’m just saying they all showed up. I’m not a fan of Carson’s voice, and she does sing a lot in the film, but I’m also not punishing the film for that. I’m sure Sofia Carson fans will wet themselves with how much singing she does.
The negative side, is that the relationship our fresh married couple builds isn’t really earned, and even though it follows a path worth following, there seeem to be leaps in their relationship, where they go from hating each other to having sex, yet still not knowing anything about each other. It’s a very odd dynamic,and therefore when the film calls for you to believe that these two might actually have (unbeknownst to them) fallen in love, it’s just not earned.
Also, this film has a lot of thoughts being thrown around, and it’s hard to pick up what it’s trying to say. On one hand, you have Carsons daughter of an immigrant who has a very skewed opinion of America based on how it treats those who come over from south of the border. Then you have soldiers who love to drop phrases like “libtard”. But for the most part, neither side is ever directly called out, so there is no wrong opinion. It tries its best to be a meeting of the minds, as to not offend anyone with political leanings either way. Everyone has their own histories, and they spend some time arguing, but nothing is ever resolved. If you think. This is a liberal film where Carson comes in and teaches a bunch of military brats to be kinder and gentler, you’d be wrong. Nor do they really change her opinions either. It just kind of tries to make everyone happy.
As far as the audio description goes, I thought we had a rather upbeat narrator for a film that is not upbeat. I really wanted the credits to tel me audio description information, but it didn’t. There’s nothing wrong with the narrator, and I would hire her a thousand times over for kids/family/comedy/romantic comedy, but since Purple Hearts takes itself a little too seriously, she ends up feeling like Dora The Explorer teaching you about Vietnam. I mean, it sounds plausible, but no one actually wants to hear Dora’s voice narrating about Vietnam. These two things basically were like oil and water, and just didn’t mix.
Final Grade: B-