LOVE HARD MOVIE REVIEW
Love Hard is a Christmas romantic comedy about a young woman who was catfished but eventually discovers love.
After many failed romances, Natalie Bauer (Nina Dobrev) falls in love with Josh Lin via a dating app. She then decides to fly over to his hometown, Lake Placid, to surprise him for Christmas only to realize she has been catfished. The real Josh Lin (Jimmy O. Yang) has been using his childhood friend, Tag’s (Darren Barnett) photos in the dating app. On the same night she arrived, Natalie saw the real Tag, the person she thought she has been talking to and therefore, made a deal with Josh: Josh will help Natalie get together with Tag while Natalie will help pretend to be Josh’s girlfriend in front of his family.
Throughout their time helping each other, both Natalie and Josh grew closer together while Natalie realized she doesn’t have anything in common with Tag. Natalie helps Josh regains his confidence and one night, Josh fake-proposed to Natalie. During the engagement party however, Natalie could no longer hold it together and reveals the truth and apologizes to Tag for catfishing him by pretending to be someone she is not. After some time, Natalie realizes that Josh is the right person for her all along. She then apologizes and expresses her love through a series of cardboards like one they have watched in Love Actually.
Let’s be honest. We all knew how the movie was going to end just by watching the trailer. Love Hard is a predictable Christmas rom-com but executed it in a charming way. It has its fair share of adorable yet awkward moments that can still make you smile and enjoy the whole movie from start to finish. Nina and Jimmy’s modern rendition of “Baby Its Cold Outside” is also a breath of fresh air and definitely adds in that little bit of unique element to an already stereotypical show.
Nevertheless, the plot of Love Hard is very straight forward and nothing to shout about. I believe most audiences would have already predicted the ending after reading the premise of the show or after watching the trailer. Characters are also what one would expect from a typical rom-com but with different types of quirks, like making scented candles.
I also understand how the writers are encompassing the modern dating life feature of dating apps and being catfished into the whole movie. However, I felt like Josh’s betrayal was portrayed a lot mildly than it would have been in real life. Josh rationalizes his catfishing for lack of self-confidence, but is that a good enough reason? If it is, does this encourage more people to hide within a fake profile rather than learn to be confident and accept themselves for who they are? There is a part in the movie where Josh apologizes for lying and eventually creates a profile with his true self, but some of me still felt the catfishing was a little bit romanticized. Maybe I am being too harsh.
At the end of the day, the story behind Love Hard is not a novelty nor is it extremely spectacular. If you like the genre (or Paxton Hall-Yoshida), it is something that you can enjoy. Otherwise, it is just another rom-com that one will not watch more than once.
Charming but an easily forgettable movie that I’ll not watch twice
Streaming on Netflix