‘The Tearsmith’ on Netflix Is A Slightly Creepy Teen Romance

By Romey Norton
Published: April 6, 2024
The Tearsmith Review - True love or trauma bond?
The Tearsmith (via Netflix)


Throw together every young adult romance trope and you’ve got The Tearsmith. It’s nearly two hours of two broken teens’ will-they-won’t-they traumatic fairy tale.

The Tearsmith is based on Erin Doom’s bestselling 2021 novel of the same name and follows Nica (Caterina Ferioli), a teen orphan who gets adopted by a pair of do-gooders, but they’ve also adopted her sworn enemy Rigel (Simone Baldasseroni). How will she cope if she has constant reminders of her trauma from the orphanage?

While the Netflix film is visually pleasing, you can easily disengage with the enemy-to-lovers story and many side-eye longing glances. 

The story is predictable and filled with so many teen-drama tropes you’ll wonder if there is any originality in it at all. Through flashbacks we see the trauma the orphanage caused the pair, contrasting their new, happier lives after being adopted. 

Rigel is everything your teen heart wants him to be, a tortured artist with a handsome face and killer pout. Nica is sweet, simple, and vulnerable, needing love and to be loved. Think of a European Edward Cullen and a less annoying, more expressive Bella from Twilight, and you’ve got these characters down. The acting is fine — nothing special, but they do a good job of building some tension about whether they’ll get together. 

I think the whole you’re my enemy, you’re my “sister”, now you’re my love is a little creepy and didn’t work for me. Sometimes they have a sexy chemistry, and then Nica’s gasps and sighs towards his advances give scared and worried vibes and I wasn’t sure what was going on. Are they going to consensually kiss, or is he going to sexually assault her? It’s very contradictory with Rigel making these advances and then Nica thinking he wants her to hate him… This trauma bond is weird. 

There is one scene where Rigel and Nica have a “heated” argument and it’s the most pathetic thing I’ve ever seen — I laughed out loud. Here, I could not take this “romance” seriously. This leads to very shaky and shivery heavy petting. And they never close the damn door. 

I enjoyed the Gothic cinematography; the dark and bluish tones are calming and mystical. But the script and dialogue leave a lot to be desired. It’s repetitive and basic; it tries too hard to be poetic and romantic, especially for these pathetic teens. 

Nica, like the butterfly she is named after, blossoms and comes out of her shell. The loner boy learns to love, and together they overcome their painful experiences in the orphanage. 

Overall, The Tearsmith is a teen romance suitable for younger audiences who aren’t old enough to know any better. 

Think of every single young-adult romance trope, throw it all together and what have you got? This movie. Does this make it bad? Not at all. If you love a good teen romance featuring a handsome man with a killer jawline and an ugly-duckling girl falling in love, you’ll enjoy The Tearsmith. If you’re not a fan of romance-drama films you will cringe from top to bottom and be bored to death.

I also broke the ending of The Tearsmith in depth and discussed the possibilities of a sequel to The Tearsmith. If you enjoyed the movie you can also check out where The Tearsmith was filmed and 10 movies like it

Movie Reviews, Movies, Netflix, Streaming Service