2 Hearts, 2020.
Directed by Lance Hool.
Starring Jacob Elordi, Adan Canto, Tiera Skovbye, Radha Mitchell, Kari Matchett, Tahmoh Penikett, Steve Bacic, Anthony Konechny, Jordan Burtchett, and Malcolm Stewart.
For two couples the future unfolds in different decades and different places, but a hidden connection will bring them together in a way no one could have predicted.
Marketing is never meant to be fully honest, but the thing that gets me most about 2 Hearts (Directed by Lance Hool, written by Veronica Hool and Robin U. Russin) is that everywhere you look about the movie on the Internet is some sort of tagline or synopsis hyping up a mystery and the truth to be discovered here. Forget that this it is inspired by a true story for a moment, as even without that I fail to believe the vast majority of anyone that watches this movie (let’s face it, that’s a small pool of the human population, to begin with) would not come to the conclusion as to what it’s really about within the first five minutes of voiceover narration.
As one could probably deduce from the title, 2 Hearts tells parallel stories centered on broad romance. The charm on display from the men is often cheesy and the movie itself is wholesome to a fault, although thankfully never leans into faith-based propaganda like it’s aesthetically heavenly poster might suggest or when a character brings up that she is committed to helping others because she made a deal with God following a tragic car accident involving her mother. The point is that the juxtaposed love stories are not really filled with intriguing characters either.
Chris (Jacob Elordi) is dimwitted but handsome and sweet-natured, fresh into college and crushing on his classmate Sam (Tiera Skovbye), an equally tender woman with a heart of gold putting together a safety program that basically amounts to Uber on campus for bringing back students that are either too intoxicated to drive or perhaps don’t even have a means of transportation. Elsewhere is Jorge (Adan Canto) who helps run the family rum business, which sees him traveling back and forth between Miami and Puerto Rico. On one of those routine airfare travels he has a meet-cute with flight attendant Grace (Radha Mitchell), convincing her to hold his hand before takeoff as a method of calming his anxieties and physical stress that’s the result of severely weakened lungs at the hands of a soccer injury as a teenager.
None of these characters are interesting, as the majority of the film is a bunch of flirting, dates, montages, and other sequences that feel more like a freewheeling plotless film rather than one that is going somewhere. Again, since we are essentially watching two very similar tales of people falling in love, that means we end up watching two weddings instead of one and also have to deal with repetition. Also, that’s not an inherently bad thing, but 2 Hearts has nothing meaningful to say or anything insightful to express; it’s just in a perpetual state of spinning into gears until it’s time to kick into melodramatic overload. At most, it could be said that the characters are likable individually, but when it comes to relationships there’s not much chemistry between anyone.
It also doesn’t help that the narrative starts to cram years and years at a time into five minutes at a time speeding up the journey to saccharine hell. The script also tries to do something sneaky by playing with the timelines alongside fantasy and reality that ends up somewhere between clever and disrespectful to the real events being sold. For a movie that literally ends with one of the characters saying “who could have seen that coming”, it sure does feel like the filmmakers noticed the transparency of the plot and tried anything to window-dress the obvious.
When it’s all said and done, sure, I felt a tiny bit of sadness for these characters but it was all overshadowed by how aggressively cloying the last 40 minutes are. It’s also so bland and unremarkable that the emotion it’s going for comes nowhere close to achieving the intended dramatic effect it should. It only takes half a brain to figure out 2 Hearts, so it’s really just a matter of sitting through the inevitable onslaught of emotional manipulation that feels more ripped from a terrible Nicholas Sparks story more than real life.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Flickering Myth Reviews Editor. Check here for new reviews, friend me on Facebook, follow my Twitter or Letterboxd, check out my personal non-Flickering Myth affiliated Patreon, or email me at MetalGearSolid719@gmail.com