Poster for Love at First Sight, with a blonde white boy sitting across from a white girl with brown curly hair with an airplane in the background


Title: Love at First Sight
Released: 2023

Fix: Romance, incredibly attractive and charismatic actors, business class fantasy
Platform: Netflix
Source Material
Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Published: 2012 

Netflix Summary:

Two strangers connect on a flight to London, only to be separated by a twist of fate. A reunion seems improbable — but love has a way of defying the odds.

FYA Summary:

As noted above, this film is an adaptation of Jennifer E. Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, which I reviewed waaaay back in 2011 and enjoyed. I did, however, have to put aside my distaste for instalove. (I know, it’s fiction, why do I have to be so cynical, why can’t I just appreciate a nice story, etc. etc.) So I was pleased to discover, upon watching the movie version, that I had ZERO issues embracing the instalove between these two characters because they’re played by insanely charming, super magnetic, incredibly attractive people. More on that below!

So, Hadley is flying to London for her dad’s wedding to a women he met after moving there… and leaving his wife and Hadley behind. She misses her first flight, mostly because she’s always late but probably maybe also because she doesn’t really want to go (she’s understandably hurt and pissed at her dad). While waiting for her rebooked flight, she meets Oliver, a British student at Yale, who’s flying home to London, and the two end up sitting next to each other on the plane. Their connection is immediate, and as the plane soars over the Atlantic, Hadley and Oliver talk about nothing and everything, flirting one minute and baring their souls the next. But what happens when the flight ends and the reality of their separate lives crashes in?

Familiar Faces:

A pretty white girl with brown curly hair, sitting in an airplane seat, smiles at the white, blonde, cute boy sitting next to her

Haley Lu Richardson as Hadley; Ben Hardy as Oliver Jones

I mean, just look at these two!! How cute are they?!!!

I’ve been a fan of Haley Lu Richardson since I saw her in Edge of Seventeen, and then of course she was fantastic in S2 of White Lotus. She is the PERFECT actor to play Hadley, who, as I wrote in my review, “is sweet and smart and nicely ordinary, but that doesn’t mean she’s boring.” Haley Lu imbues this regular gal with sparkling charisma and an endearing warmth; it’s no surprise that a guy would fall for her in a heartbeat.

And vice versa! Ben Hardy is a DOLL. I had to look him up, like, WHERE HAS THIS GUY BEEN HIDING, only to realize he was in Bohemian Rhapsody and played Angel in X-Men: Apocalypse. As Oliver, Ben is wonderfully sincere, and he manages to make a super nice math nerd into an absolute dreamboat.

So, yeah, the frisson between these two is hot enough for the TSA to classify them as a fire hazard for the plane.

A gorgeous, brown-skinned woman with long dark hair and bangs, wearing a blue coat and holding a coffee with a city skyline in the background

Jameela Jamil as the Narrator (and so much more!)

The biggest change from the page to the script is the use of a narrator, who also appears as many characters in the film, and I gotta say, I heartily approve. Partially because the narrator is played by Jameela Jamil, who is gorgeous and funny and delightful, and partially because of the way the role frames the story as more of a whimsical, slightly magical tale.

I’ll also call out Sally Phillips as Oliver’s mom, because I will never fail to recognize Shazza from Bridget Jones’s Diary.

Couch-Sharing Capability: Empty Middle Seat

Look, this isn’t the kind of movie that needs a crowd. And you DEFINITELY don’t want any haters on board, because this film isn’t afraid to be over the top in the romance department. (I mean, the title is Love at First Sight. You know what you’re getting.) But if you have a copilot who enjoys a little cheese with their cinema, by all means, share your row!

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Multiple Tiny Liquor Bottles

Let’s just say, there are no fine details to grasp while watching this movie, plus you might need a little buzz to quiet down your cynical side.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Inflight Entertainment

Will Love at First Sight win a place in the YA adaptation hall of fame? No. But will it leave you with a smile on your face? Absolutely. Thanks to the two leads and addition of the narrator structure, this is a feel-good flick that isn’t afraid to ignore reality in the name of romance.

(And I’m so happy for Jen Smith!! Nicest person EVER.)

We published this review during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. This work would not exist without the labor of writers and actors, and we support their goals. 

Sarah lives in Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.