Making an impact. As Purple Hearts skyrocketed on Netflix amid its release, the movie simultaneously faced backlash from viewers on social media.
The film, which debuted in July 2022, explored a connection between a liberal aspiring musician (Sofia Carson) who decides to marry a conservative Marine (Nicholas Galitzine) in order to use his health insurance plan to help afford her Type 1 diabetes medication.
Shortly after Purple Hearts started streaming, its discussion on race and perceived misogynistic messaging was criticized by fans online. At the time, director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum praised the way Purple Hearts approached telling a love story.
“I remember I read it in a hotel room in Portland and I thought, everything that I’ve been feeling — the frustration I’ve been feeling in the world, as the two sides of the aisle have become more and more divided, it’s kind of represented in this,” she explained to Variety in August 2022. “But in a hopeful, romantic bow — where it’s not in your face, it’s just that the themes are explored. It just felt so timely and exciting.”
Carson, for her part, pointed out that the movie’s success came from the chemistry between her and Galitzine. “I knew that, for me, what was most important to the heart of our story was the chemistry between these two people who literally could not stand how badly they wanted each other, and it needed to feel like fire, like this lightning in a bottle and Nick and I had really incredible chemistry through a computer screen,” the actress shared.
She added: “We were very lucky that we had this instinctual and very natural chemistry and even the way that him and I can get into under each other’s skin as Nick and Sofia, is very much how Cassie and Luke function. So it was cool to kind of almost emulate our bickering and our relationship in our movie.”
After Purple Hearts clocked over 100 million hours of viewing time in its first two weeks, the Disney Channel alum star gushed about the movie’s unique approach to romance.
“We wanted to represent both sides as accurately as possible,” she continued. “What I think I’ve learned to do as an artist is separate myself from all of that and just listen to what the world is feeling and reacting to with the film. That has been so beautifully overwhelming and so many people have felt seen or are comforted by this movie. That’s all we could want [as] filmmakers and as artists.”
Scroll down for everything the cast and crew said about the backlash and potential sequel: