Natasha (Yara Shahidi) and her family are being deported from their home in New York. Whilst trying to halt this process she meets Daniel (Charles Melton) who tries to prove they can fall in love within one day.
When reviewing a film I think it is always best to focus on the positive and this film delivers some fine looking cinematography and some interesting shots. And that is everything positive I have to say.
I was expecting a naff but easy-going romantic comedy but there is something in the essence of this film that makes it an incredibly frustrating watch. The leads, while alright in their own scenes, have no chemistry together. Mashing a Barbie and Ken doll together with accompanying kissy noises would have brought more credibility to the screen.
It wouldn't be fair to lay the blame at the feet of the actors though, because what they have to work with would make Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton say "sod that, let's go pub". It feels like the scriptwriter got half a paragraph in and Clippy turned up going, "It looks like you're writing a coming-of-age romantic comedy. Would you like help?" and they just let him do all the grunt work.
There is meant to be a sort of cosmological theme to the film but appears only when they remember to shoehorn it in. I get that Americans might be fooled into thinking that the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson are mega brained geniuses, despite all the evidence to the contrary, but reading aloud the Wikipedia entry of Carl Sagan doesn't make your characters sound smart. So, ideas like the multiverse are thrown into the film and then are never followed up on or mentioned again. A strange omission considering the number of coincidences this film throws at the protagonists, some explanation would have made things slightly more believable or at least tie things together.
I can't believe I am writing this in the Year of Our Lord 2019 but state incarceration of marginalised members of society is not appropriate emotional ammunition in your cutesy romantic drama. Natasha’s last-ditch attempt to halt her family’s deportation is a fine plot if dealt with thoughtfully but it is just so blasé it is offensive. At the immigration office, her caseworker mentions Jamaica in the same breath as Syria as if they are comparable. Lingering shots of the Statue of Liberty abound whilst people complain about “the current climate” as if recent political events are blip in an otherwise untarnished track record.
This is the sort of film that views “Deus ex machina” as a meaningful and thoughtful phrase because it is in Latin, and not “lazy plot device” like the rest of the world does. Rather than see this drivel you’d be better to stare directly into the sun and make a plot out for the dark and yellow spots from your scotoma.