REVIEW: ‘At Midnight’ Is Fit For the February Rom-Com Flurry

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At Midnight — But Why Tho

It’s February, which means that every streaming service and studio is offering up romantic comedies to audiences as much as they can. While I love rom-coms, it does become hard to find ones that stand apart from the crowd. I’ll be honest, when I saw the promotion for At Midnight, Paramount+’s latest original film, I wasn’t sure if it would stand apart. But it does. In fact, At Midnight, even with its cheesy one-liners and some weird CGI set choices, manages to be unique enough to stand against the February rom-com flurry.

Directed by Jonah Feingold and written by Feingold, Maria Hinojos, and Giovanni M. Porta, At Midnight centers around Alejandro (Diego Boneta), an ambitious hotel manager, and Sophie (Monica Barbaro), a movie star navigating the politics of Hollywood. On his side, Alejandro is focused on opening his own boutique hotel and proving to his father that his path to success can look however he wants to make it. For Sophie, she’s trying to focus on shooting her new superhero film, “Super Society 3,” in hopes of getting her own spinoff which becomes increasingly important when she catches her co-star (and boyfriend) Adam (Anders Holm) cheating. Fate strikes when the shoot brings them all to Alejandro’s hotel in Mexico. Despite their radically different lives, Alejandro and Sophie begin to meet at midnight secretly, and a romance develops as the two get to know each other and themselves.

I’m usually not optimistic when it comes to rom-coms set in Mexico from the American perspective. And to be honest, a celebrity who goes to film in Mexico and falls in love with a hotel manager could have been out of touch at most and racially stereotyped at worst. That said, At Midnight shows Mexico as a vibrant and beautiful country while also handling family dynamics and questions about belonging in a real way. Alejandro has to deal with family pressure to succeed, even if their path isn’t the one he wants to take, and Sophie has to break out from under the weight of her co-star and ex-boyfriend, all while being in a country she’s connected to through heritage but not one she knows intimately. It’s a balance that works to highlight who the characters are beyond just romantic interests but not one that feels forced.

Like The Valet, this film is truly bilingual, with Diego Boneta speaking Spanish in any scene he has with his friends, family, and co-workers. Not only that, but he’s speaking Spanish with all the Mexican colloquialisms I know and recognize, which is worlds apart from films using Spaniards as the language barometer. Add in the way that Sophie navigates language as a Mexican-American with little grasp of the language and the way it naturally impacts how she navigates Mexico with Alejandro without making it be the focus of the film. Although the lack of Indigenous and Black Mexicans in how the film portrays Mexico is apparent, with only light-skinned actors showcasing the country’s culture.

And to be honest, At Midnight works because Boneta and Barbaro have great chemistry together. Their chemistry isn’t just about passion and love; it’s also about friendship and understanding who the other person is. The way the two interact is about romance. Still, it’s also about them each finally feeling like they can be their true selves with someone else and handling the unease that can happen when you realize just how comfortable you’ve really gotten with someone.

At Midnight is charming in its romance, charismatic because of its leads, and a great watch to get you into the romantic mood this February. Does the humor take some shots that come off as cheesy? Sure, but the truth is that the humor lands more times than it doesn’t, and with leads as great as Diego Boneta and Monica Barbaro, the film is still well worth watching.

At Midnight is available now exclusively on Paramount+. 

At Midnight
  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10


At Midnight is charming in its romance, charismatic because of its leads, and a great watch to get you into the romantic mood this February.

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