When Chris (Jacob Elordi, The Kissing Booth) is rushed to the hospital accompanied by his crying girlfriend, Sam (Tiera Skovbye, Riverdale), in the opening moments of 2 Hearts, it quickly becomes clear the audience is about to sit through a romantic tearjerker. We soon learn Chris is a good-natured, fun-loving freshman in college when he meets the girl of his dreams in Sam. He sets out to win her heart, something he explains to viewers via a voiceover. Apparantly, Chris is determined to tell us his story along with the tale of another lovesick man named Jorge (Adan Canto, Designated Survivor).
Jorge’s the son of a wealthy Cuban businessman who, due to lung disease, is not expected to live past his teens. Jorge miraculously beats the odds and makes it to 30. While traveling back and forth from Cuba to the United States on business for his father, Jorge meets a Pan-Am fly attendant named Leslie (Radha Mitchell, Pitch Black) and is instantly smitten. During take-off, he asks if she’ll sit with him to calm his nerves – which she does. From there, Jorge and Leslie begin a whirlwind romance.
It’s clear from the clothes and the fact Pan-Am is still in business that Jorge and Leslie’s romance begins in the early 1960s whereas Chris and Sam’s college romance is set in the present. The film jumps back and forth between the two different decades, chronicling the two couples’ sweet romances.
Back at college, Sam, now head-over-heels for Chris, is teaching him how to drive and even goes with him to the DMV when he takes his drivers test. When Chris checks the box to be an organ donor, it becomes painfully clear how the two couples’ lives will eventually intersect.
Inspired by a true story, 2 Hearts strives to be a moving and heartfelt film about love, life, loss, family, and self-sacrifice. Unfortunately, with its sappy dialogue and cheesy romantic scenes, the film plays out like a drippy, unrealistic Hallmark Movie of the Week. The writing lack freshness and the character development never evolves past surface level.
Jacob Elordi plays Chris as a good-hearted young man who loves his family and Sam, but the script and his performance never go deeper than that. What are his interests in college, other than Sam? Why is his relationship with his father so distant? The film never allows us to get to know who Chris really is. The same can be said for Sam who seems sweet enough and likable, but hardly a memorable character.
Radha Mitchell and Adan Canto as Leslie and Jorge are given a little more depth, mostly because their relationship lasts decades. However, their scenes still suffer from unrealistic and cringe-worthy dialogue. (Mitchell does deliver the best performance in the film.)
The pacing is constantly herky-jerky, jumping back and forth covering the two couples’ romances. There’s no real rhyme or rhythm to it – just erratic jumps in time.
Ultimately, 2 Hearts fails to tell a worthwhile story about two loves, their lives, and a tragic, lifesaving sacrifice.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language
Running Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Directed By: Lance Hool
Release Date: October 16, 2020