Netflix’s romance drama movie, ‘Love at First Sight’ follows the story of Oliver and Hadley. They meet each other by a stroke of luck when Hadley misses her flight to London by four minutes. They spend the next few hours together and bond well with each other. They are separated at customs checks, and all means of communication between them are lost. There is no possibility for them to meet each other again, but fate intervenes, and their paths converge once again.
Directed by Vanessa Caswill, the story takes many twists and turns, showing the audience that finding love is easy, but choosing it in the face of all adversities and challenges is difficult. Despite the romantic premise of the film, it presents Oliver and Hadley as very real characters. It might make you wonder if the movie is inspired by real-life events. Here’s what you need to know about it. SPOILERS AHEAD
Is Love at First Sight Based on a Book?
‘Love at First Sight’ is based on the book ‘The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight’ by Jennifer E. Smith. Published in 2011, the book follows the fictional story of Hadley and Oliver, who cross paths with each other in an airport while catching a flight to London. This is one of the most successful books of Smith and the second to be adapted into a movie, following the Netflix adaptation of her other book, ‘Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between.’
While talking about the inception of ‘The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight,’ Smith revealed that she based the premise on an actual incident that happened to her. Years ago, she was on a flight from Chicago to Dublin. On the flight, she sat next to a man who was somewhat older than her. He was reading a book she had just finished, which sparked a conversation between them. As the conversation progressed, they found more things to discuss and spent the entire flight talking with each other.
When the plane landed, they separated as Smith had to go through customs check, while the gentleman, who was Irish, didn’t. They thought they’d meet each other outside the airport. However, by the time Smith came out, the man was nowhere to be seen. He might have waited a while but left when she took too long. Smith confessed that the line was a little too long, and, understandably, the man would want to leave.
Smith also realized that she didn’t know the man’s full name, so there was no way for her to find him. This got her thinking about how she would never see the man again and how sad it was, considering that they’d spent a good chunk of time talking to each other and knowing one another. This led the author to extrapolate from here, and even though her situation wasn’t in a romantic context, she wondered what it would be like if two people fell in love this way and were separated.
Smith loved the idea of exploring these moments in time “that act as hinges, where there’s a clear split between before and after.” She wanted to explore how a person’s life can change after meeting someone they fall in love with instantly. Talking about whether or not Oliver and Hadley’s story would be considered realistic, Smith said that while the love at first sight thing hasn’t happened with her, she has “heard enough stories from other people that that has happened to and want[s] to believe it’s possible.”
The author calls herself an optimist and a romantic and “a big believer that everything happens for a reason.” She finds it fun to play around with a situation with two strangers. However, she also tries to make the characters as realistic and relatable as possible. With all this in mind, it’s clear that ‘Love at First Sight’ is a fictional story that Smith wrote around a real event (no matter how minor) in her life.
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