“Love Hard” Movie Review
Netflix is back with yet another holiday rom-com in the Hernán Jiménez directed film, “Love Hard.” The film stars some familiar faces such as Nina Dobrev, Jimmy O. Yang and Harry Shum Jr.
Dobrev’s character, Natalie, works as a columnist who writes about her bad online-dating experiences via the movie’s version of Tinder. Finally, after so many awful dates, she finds the man of her dreams. The only problem is that this man lives 3,000 miles away in Lake Placid, New York. And, of course, he isn’t real either.
For some reason, Natalie decides to fly out to spend Christmas with Yang’s character, Josh, and his family. According to the film, they had only been talking to each other for two weeks, and it is outrageous that she didn’t even bother to FaceTime him or get some sort of proof that he’s real.
When discussing her holiday plans with her friend, the friend exclaims “This is the sanest thing you’ve done,” when in fact it is bonkers that anyone thought this was a good idea.
How she ends up finding Josh’s address is unknown, and why she decides to introduce herself as Josh’s girlfriend to his parents immediately is even more questionable. She then sees Josh in real life and realizes that she’s been catfished. From here, this is where the romantic chaos begins.
Natalie finds out that the man in Josh’s pictures, Tag, is real, and Josh, feeling bad for catfishing her, agrees to help set them up. The movie examines the relationships between the three of them and dives into the themes of honesty, self-worth and love.
This type of film has been done so many times, yet “Love Hard” surprisingly is filled with character and originality.
Jimmy O. Yang does an incredible job delivering the most memorable lines, and is easily the star of the film.
All of the characters, though not always believable, are extremely entertaining. The dialogue is also very hit or miss with, the jokes either seeming like millennial garbage, or completely hilarious. Viewers will either be shaking their heads in disbelief, or have a quality chuckle, there is no in-between.
There are so many moments in the movie that are cringe-worthy. From the entire bar scene to Josh publicly proposing to Natalie, it makes one wonder what on earth the studio was thinking.
The movie was most likely meant to be a little cheesy, but sometimes that can be a little overwhelming. It is also all too predictable.
Throughout the movie, Natalie realizes that even though she found Tag attractive, it was Josh’s personality that she loved the entire time. Natalie and Josh have a falling out. But then, she also realizes even though Josh was lying about his looks, she had been lying about her personality as she tried to be more appealing to Tag.
She realizes this as she's giving a speech at her surprise engagement party, making things extremely awkward for everyone in the room. This whole part seemed beyond cliché and a little bit forced.
The ending is pretty sweet with “Love Hard” borrowing from other popular Christmas movies. It was a cute way to wrap everything up and tie all of the loose knots.
Overall, “Love Hard” is a flawed but entertaining film throughout. For most casual viewers, there will be lots to enjoy through its goofiness and wit.
It will never be considered a “classic,” but it is a step in the right direction for Netflix originals.
Caelan Chevrier is a second-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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