Netflix’s Last Call for Istanbul looks like the ideal movie to break my romantic-drama drought

Last Call for Istanbul
(Image credit: Netflix)

With just a week until Thanksgiving in the US and not much longer till Christmas, this would be a really good time for one of the best streaming services to release a feel-good rom-com, especially if it's made in Turkey so we can make jokes where we pretend to confuse the bird with the country. So we're very pleased to see Netflix step up and deliver just what we needed: a Turkish romantic-drama set in NYC. 

The set-up is simple enough: Kivanç Tatlitug and Beren Saat are Mehmet and Serin, two married strangers whose paths cross when Serin's luggage is accidentally picked up by another passenger at JFK International Airport. What begins as a search for lost luggage becomes a story of love, second chances and loyalty over an "unforgettable" night in New York.

Is Last Call for Istanbul worth streaming?

It certainly looks like it. The leads are charismatic and charming, they're both pretty damn cute and it's written by Nuran Even Sit, who wrote The Gift. The director is Gonenc Uyanik, best known for The Protector

The fact that both characters are married (to other people) adds an interesting element to what might otherwise be a fairly predictable rom-com. Expect a lot of tension, a lot of yearning and quite possibly a lot of frowning faces as our leads wrestle with feelings of attraction as well as their loyalty to their spouses. That's a whole extra layer of the usual will-they-won't-they tension of a typical rom-com, and the promotional blurb suggests that the characters will have to come to some kind of reckoning with their own pasts.

Another reason to check this one out is that the leads are old friends. They starred together in the series Aşk-ı Memnu, so there's going to be an easy chemistry there that should be apparent on-screen. All in all, this looks like it could well be – oh yes! – a Turkish delight.

Last Call for Istanbul will be available on Netflix from November 24, 2023.

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now and her next book, about pop music, is out in 2025. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind.