Austin Abrams falls in love with the mysterious Lili Reinhart in this high school-set romance drama.
Lili Reinhart, who is best known for playing Betty Cooper in Riverdale, had her movie breakthrough with last year's Hustlers and now she's bagged herself a leading role in Chemical Hearts.
The teen romance drama tells the story of Henry Page (Austin Abrams), who has never been in a relationship or in love.
All that changes on the first day of his senior year in high school when transfer student Grace Town (Reinhart) is assigned to co-edit the newspaper with him.
He is instantly drawn to Grace and they become friends and inevitably he falls in love with her.
But the course of true love never did run smooth, as Shakespeare once wrote, and their relationship is rather complicated because Grace is still recovering - physically, emotionally and mentally - from a tragic accident and she isn't in the right mindset to be dating.
Chemical Hearts is clearly designed to be a moving tearjerker for the teen crowd, but it doesn't manage to stir up much feeling in its audience because the narrative fails to earn it and build the two leads’ relationship to a place where viewers would care about it.
It was hard to get invested in the characters or be convinced by the storyline.
The story is told from the perspective of Henry but the far more interesting character is Grace.
She has been through a lot and her emotional and mental scars as a result of that would have been better ground to explore, rather than this romance.
However, her secret past is kept from the audience for a long time and so the mystery and intrigue about her backstory would be ruined if it was told from her point of view.
Reinhart is the star of the show. She is the one you want to watch and she does all the emotional heavy lifting.
She was perfectly capable at commanding the emotion needed for her performance, although she almost went into melodrama territory at times.
Her friendship with Abrams is believable but they didn't have amazing romantic chemistry. Abrams, perhaps best known for The Walking Dead, is likeable but difficult to understand sometimes as he likes to mumble.
Despite a winning performance from Reinhart, who also produces, Chemical Hearts is a cliched and forgettable teen drama that fails to inspire much feeling within its audience.
Available on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 21st August.
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