A whimsical romance blossoms in Netflix’s new film Love at First Sight, which is inspired by Jennifer E. Smith’s 2013 novel The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.
Hadley Sullivan and Oliver Jones are two strangers who cross paths in an airport on December 20 and share a transatlantic flight.
Oliver gives Hadley his number, but her phone dies before she can save it. Without knowing each other’s names, will they find each other again after their serendipitous encounter? Or will fate keep them apart forever?
The Narrator (Jameela Jamil), who occasionally intervenes in the story with statistics and fourth-wall breaks, assures us that their chance encounter on a flight is not a coincidence but a matter of fate. (She even helps them sit together for the six-hour, forty-seven-minute flight, acting as a flight attendant in one scene.)
The film’s use of statistics may be either delightful and romantic or somewhat puzzling, depending on how you feel about the idea of fate. Also, be prepared to get emotional and want to call your mom/parent/caretaker when you learn why Oliver is traveling.
Nevertheless, Love at First Sight is a charming and enjoyable film that keeps you wondering how Hadley and Oliver will find their way to each other.
So, how do they end up together? Let’s find out more about the chances and probabilities of that happening!
1. ‘Love at First Sight’: Ending Explained!
We begin with Hadley, who has just shared a flight with Oliver and now must attend her father Andrew’s (Rob Delaney) nuptials with his new bride (complicated!).
As she waits for the wedding to start, she catches a newspaper snippet of conversation about a memorial service in Peckham, the same area where Oliver said he was headed. Is this Oliver’s mom’s memorial? Questions surround Hadley as she takes a leap of faith! She rashly decides to leave the wedding and find him, promising her father she will be back for the reception.
Meanwhile, Oliver is at a very unconventional memorial for his mother, who has chosen to celebrate her life before she finally succumbs to cancer. The memorial is themed around Shakespeare and features various poetry, monologues, and interpretive dance performances.
The memorial turns out to be an emotionally draining moment that makes all of us teary-eyed! Oliver is especially preoccupied with the impending demise of his mother and tries really hard to keep a straight face on the occasion. Suddenly, Hadly arrives.
A heated argument with Oliver mars her arrival at the memorial because Oliver didn’t tell her the truth about his real reason for visiting London. He defends himself by saying that he did not want to burden a stranger he just met with his mother’s illness, which is understandable.
However, he also admits that he has trouble expressing his emotions, preferring to rely on spontaneous, physically intimate moments rather than emotional closeness.
Hadley feels hurt and betrayed, and she leaves without exchanging contact information with him. However, the Chance Gods help their cause once again as she forgets her bag in the memorial, and Oliver finds it!
Meanwhile, Hadley finds herself stranded in London with no phone battery (being clumsy is her jam!). She finally manages to find a woman who lets her use her phone to call her father. He comes to pick her up, and they have a heart-to-heart conversation about Oliver and Hadley’s parents’ divorce. Hadley, who has been struggling with her father’s remarriage throughout the film, finally reconciles with him.
Elsewhere, Oliver delivers a heartfelt and beautiful tribute to his mother, and we cry our eyes out! However, the Chance Gods play their tricks again, and he discovers Hadley’s father’s wedding invitation in her purse! So, he hops into his brother’s car with the whole family, and they hurry to the reception.
There, he finally finds Hadley and apologizes to her, and Hadley kisses him in a beautiful sequence of events! She tells him that she’s decided to stay in London for Christmas with her dad, and he starts rattling off statistics about couples meeting at an airport or because of missed connections. She asks him what he’s actually studying. The answer? “The statistical probability of love at first sight.” (Imagine the Pointing Leonardo DiCaprio meme.)
The Narrator gives a final brief narration about the rest of Hadley and Oliver’s life together, mentioning they’ll be married for 58 years and have at least one daughter, as the ending caption unfolds, reading, “The beginning…”
2. About Love at First Sight
Love at First Sight is a 2023 American romantic comedy film directed by Vanessa Caswill and written by Katie Lovejoy, based upon the 2011 novel The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith.
It stars Haley Lu Richardson, Ben Hardy, Dexter Fletcher, Rob Delaney, Sally Phillips and Jameela Jamil.
The film premiered on Netflix on September 15, 2023.