Purple Hearts weaves a tale about health insurance, life’s screw ups, the military at war, a career in music, and falling in love. It’s far from perfect, but it’s got depth that most love stories don’t have.
Purple Hearts begins with Cassie (Sofia Carson), an aspiring singer. She’s working in a bar in Oceanside, CA. She has diabetes and has run out of insulin 3 days before her insurance will pay for a refill.
Somebody suggests she should marry one the of very annoying Marines who come into the bar. Then she would have great health insurance. Cassie shares her opinions about Marines, wars, and everything else in aggressive confrontations. However, the idea of marrying a Marine makes her stop and think.
Cassie asks her old friend Frankie (Chosen Jacobs) if he’d marry her. He won’t because he’s in love with Riley (Breana Raquel).
Meanwhile, we’re getting to know Luke (Nicholas Galitzine). He owes $15,000 to his former drug dealer, and the guy is violent about collecting. Luke would get extra pay from the Marine Corps if he was married.
Luke is the most annoying of the Marines from Cassie’s bar, but the two of them agree to get married. They will have to pretend it’s real or the military will put them both in jail. Since they disagree about everything, pretending isn’t easy.
They make the deal and get married just before Luke ships out to Iraq.
While Luke is gone, Cassie’s singing career takes off thanks to a viral video of one of the songs she wrote. Sofia Carson is an outstanding singer with a whole other career around music. The music in the film was very good.
Luke comes home injured. The two of them get to know each other and fall in love.
The thing I like about Purple Hearts wasn’t the love story, although it was well told in a contentious way. It was all the other issues the film brought in: the health insurance problem in America, the military mindset, the pursuit of a dream, the sacrifices for love, the dangers of addiction, the love and approval of family, and much more.
I should mention some of the family members of Luke and Cassie. Luke’s dad was a former Marine (Linden Ashby). Luke’s brother was a mechanic with a growing family (Scott Deckert). Cassie’s mother was Marisol (Loren Escandon).
The film was directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum. The cinematography was outstanding with some beautifully framed outdoor shots and careful closeups during intimate scenes. I enjoyed it, imperfections and all.