One of the newest Netflix movies to hit the service, Purple Hearts, is on track to be one of the streamer’s biggest films of all time — but, at the same time, has also found itself the target of an intense backlash from viewers.
Tons of viewers, for example, have bashed the movie on social media over how it handles issues surrounding the military and race. Lamented one Twitter user: “People are hyping up Purple hearts as some kind of cute romance but it’s just American Military propaganda, it’s not even subtle, they even cheer about “killing and hunting Arabs,” there are racist remarks only the girl addresses but the man never changes his political view?????”
The film, in spite of the backlash, is still one of the Top 10 Netflix movies in the world right now, based on the latest data from the streaming giant. Even so, Purple Hearts director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum — as well as star Sofia Carson — have been on a media blitz in recent days, making the case for why more people ought to give the movie a chance.
“For characters to grow, they need to be flawed”
“I hope that people understand that in order for characters to grow, they need to be flawed in the beginning,” Rosenbaum told our sister publication, Variety. “So we very much intentionally created two characters that had been bred to hate each other. They are flawed at the beginning and that was intentional.
“In order for the red heart and the blue heart to kind of turn purple, you have to have them be kind of extreme.”
The basic gist here: Cassie (played by Carson) is a struggling singer-songwriter. She and Luke (Nicholas Galitzine), a troubled Marine, agree to marry — solely to take advantage of the military benefits. Cassie, for example, can’t afford the insulin she needs. Meanwhile, the movie gives characters controversial lines at times, like one Marine’s toast: “This one is to life, love and hunting down some (expletive) Arabs, baby!”
Adds Carson, who also executive-produced the movie, in a recent interview: “Why I fell in love with the movie is that it’s a love story but it’s so much more than that. It’s two hearts, one red, one blue, two worlds apart, who are really raised to hate each other. Through the power of love, they learn to lead with empathy and compassion and love each other and turn into this beautiful shade of purple.”
Top 10 Netflix movies this week
Purple Hearts has been among the Top 10 Netflix movies for three weeks now — and, in fact, is the #2 English-language movie on the streamer globally this week. This week’s #1 is the Jamie Foxx-led vampire hunter action-comedy Day Shift.
Check out the entire Top 10 list, including the number of hours of viewing time garnered by each title, below. This data, we should add, comes out once a week, every Tuesday. And as a reminder, the number of hours viewed for each title spans Netflix’s entire global user base. This ranking is also specific to the 7-day period that ended on August 14.
- Day Shift — 56.5 million hours viewed
- Purple Hearts — 46.3 million hours viewed
- Uncharted — 23.7 million hours viewed
- The Gray Man — 21.1 million hours viewed
- Wedding Season — 19 million hours viewed
- The Sea Beast — 10.8 million hours viewed
- 1917 — 10.8 million hours viewed (not available in the US currently)
- Flight — 10.7 million hours viewed
- The Informer — 8.3 million hours viewed
- Sing 2 — 7.2 million hours viewed
More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.