Haley Lu Richardson, right, as Hadley Sullivan and Ben Hardy as Oliver Jones in “Love at First Sight.” Rob Baker Ashton/Netflix

Okay, it’s a love story, a love story about two young lovers from the first frame and you can tell, if you’ve been paying attention, that’s it’s written by a woman, because only a woman can really write about true love movie without a sex scene.

Here they are: A woman, Katie Lovejoy, was the director. Vanessa Caswill adapted the script from Jenifer E. Smith’s 2013 “The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.” Try to get that many women on a movie theatre marquee.

Relax. It’s only 1 hour 30 minutes long and has plenty of music about love.

“Everything Goes My Way” by Tessa Rose Jackson. “Want to Make You Proud” by Katie Herzig. And with the best one — “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Morgan Harper-Jones and “Why Don’t We Start From Here” by Lucy Spraggan.

Here’s who you get. Haley Lu Richardson (“Split”) as Hadley Sullivan, a perky 20-something in a ballet skirt with a quick wit, and two unruly Audrey Hepburn eyebrows.

We meet her in an airport on her way to London to watch her divorced father Val (Rob Delaney “Wrath of Man”) get married to a young woman she’s never met.


Val, in a later scene, tries to give her an explanation for that I personally didn’t buy.

At the airport Hadley bumps into handsome Oliver (Ben Hardy “Bohemian Rhapsody”) who is an obsessive compulsive math expert who dotes on percentages in life, and maybe a few that have brought them together.

Watch Hadley’s lips twitch and eyebrows go up.

Oliver is on his way home to London to attend a last-minute marriage to an almost dying mother (Sally Phillips). This event, an arranged Shakespearean party with great costumes, introduces us to Oliver’s soon-to-die mother.

British actors, Phillips, Tom Taylor, Dexter Fletcher are sweet and charming as Oliver’s family. It almost becomes another script for another movie.

They get separated in the crowd, but hello! They meet again aboard the plane. After a few quirky conversations, they are seated together and the “first sight” grows.


The real reason they’re going to London will seep in slowly as we watch them blend.

Now pay attention. You will be given a guide (Jameela Jamil “Attorney at Law”) in various disguises, who will float you through the story.

Jamil is a plant, that’s something like a waitress, ticket clerk, etc. who will appear, from time to time, to keep you from getting lost.

Jamil is all different piece of work. In the last frame she will tell you exactly where this magic in-love couple will be 50 years from now. Ignore that finale. What’s important is what’s happening with the lovers, in the “now.”

The magic couple will separate and reunite a couple more times, leaving us with an unseeable future. Fear not, Jamil will fix that.

All the characters here bounce across the playing field like colored balls on a mystical pinball machine, and find the pockets that make the bells ring.

“Love at First Sight” is available on Netflix.


J.P. Devine of Waterville is a former stage and screen actor.

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