purple hearts has taken Netflix by storm over the past two months, racking up over 100 million hours of streams. Although this popularity seems commendable, the plot of the film does not deserve applause.
Without even discussing how the acting is on par with a dramatic portrayal of a high school 10th grader, the film promotes racism, anti-Arab sentiments, and military propaganda.
The main character, Cassie—descent Actress Sofia Carson is a diabetic singer-songwriter who cannot afford her medication given the cost of insulin. After learning that Marine wives receive health care benefits, she plots with Luke – Nick Galitzine – to defraud the system by getting married. This benefits Luke as he has to pay off a drug debt – how romantic.
What’s even more disturbing is the film’s focus on the two characters’ opposing political ideologies.
Cassie, a strong-willed liberal, and Luke, a stubborn Republican, work through their differences to make a purple heart. Unfortunately, there is no compromise to overcome these differences. One person compromises their own ideologies to make the other comfortable and, spoiler alert, this is not the one using the word “snowflake”.
When Cassie and Luke first meet, Cassie makes her disgust with the military very clear, making comments like “I have a code of ethics that doesn’t include blind obedience.” In turn, Luke insists that Cassie is a “liberal nut” and a “snowflake”.
Not only does this film present a muted glorification of political polarization, but it reinforces the far-right stereotypical view of liberals: obsessive lunatics who are easily offended. The film guides the audience to identify with and sympathize with the fanatics.
The film represents an hour and a half of military propaganda and messages from the MAGA movement. In fact, the US military helped in the production of the film.
Beyond that, the film is full of anti-Arab and racist sentiments.
At an army dinner, a fellow Marine enthusiastically applauds “chasing fucking Arabs!” Cassie responds in disgust, to which she receives a sarcastic thanks for her sensitivity training and asks if she’d like to teach them pronouns.
Not only is there an overload of bigotry, ignorance, and overt racism in his comments, he kicks the transgender community into deepening the description of a “sensitive liberal.”
Luke orders Cassie to sit down, angry at her for calling a man a racist – and angry at her for everything she says or does. Unfortunately, he never apologizes.
As a couple, Luke and Cassie show no interesting characteristics for romance watchers but, within months, the two begin to truly “fall in love.” It clearly must have happened off-screen, as I saw no reason to believe in this love story.
By the end of the film, Cassie puts her beliefs aside, sweeping Luke’s bad behavior and creepy ideologies under the rug. Completely rejecting all her faults and letting go of her strong and strong ideologies, she hangs an American flag in front of her house, next to the Pride and Black Lives Matter flags.
The film received immense backlash given its clueless plot.
It glorifies the message that explicit racism can be rejected for love while fueling political stereotypes. This movie is not the message viewers should be getting, and racism should never be excused. Netflix’s mistake in deciding to release the film is not only irresponsible, but dangerous for young, impressionable viewers.
Cassie and Luke’s story isn’t the pretty “enemies of lovers” trope that audiences want to see. purple hearts It’s not a romance movie, it’s a horror movie.