If you are looking for Christmas cheer and a main protagonist who has a little oomph, Love Hard is for you.
Natalie (Nina Dobrev, yes from Vampire Diaries, the show of insanely attractive people) is an online journalist who writes about her wildly unsuccessful dating experiences (Hey, have we just found an idea for a new column for Seek?? ). She is at her wits end with the world of dating, when her plucky best friend convinces her to widen her search area on the dating apps and give it another go. Low and behold, Natalie meets a guy that she thinks is a bit of alright, and an online relationship ensues.
Things are going great but with one problem, she has never met him in person. Natalie decides to go and surprise him at his home for the holidays. She is cheered on by her bestie and also her boss. Her boss wants another disastrous dating story for his website and thinks this will hit the mark.
Long and the short of it, Natalie gets Catfished. We meet the real man behind the profile pic Josh (Jimmy O. Yang, you may of seen him in in Silicon Valley) and who Natalie ( and us) get to know throughout the movie.
Okay, so that’s the general blurb and we don’t want to go spoiling too much of the rest of the plot for you. However, there are some spoilers in the next bit. So, if you want a completely spoiler free watching experience, please watch the movie first before reading this! You can always come back and read this after.
Final Spoiler Alert!! You have been warned!
Here’s our thoughts on it…
Now, it won’t go breaking any records, but it does tell a pretty good love story. Love Hard goes against the grain a little by having a punchy protagonist. She speaks up about things that would definitely not be talked about in the romcoms of the early noughties. She even talks about the questionable lyrics to ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ (long overdue we say!). This also leads to an excellent scene where the lyrics are adapted to be less ‘rapey’.
It was great to see some diversity in the cast too which was a nice change from the classic romcom which tends to be as white as mayonnaise. It was also great to see them not rely on the usual typecasting for the role of Josh. Previously, this would have been filled with a very conventionally ( AKA- accepted by our current society’s beauty standards) handsome man. They would of tried to make this casting work for the role by using the old trope of baggy clothes, bad posture and glasses.
It’s soo boring and so over done!
But for Josh they cast Jimmy O. Yang. And although he does wear glasses, he is perfect for this role. He brings Josh to life and makes him feel like a real person you might actually meet. Also, we are pretty sure you will find yourself crushing on him later on in the movie.
Although not ground-breaking, it has moved some ground in messing with what you would expect to get from a film like this. Love Hard has changed some perceptions of what love can look like in a Hollywood movie (or in this case a Netflix movie). It’s all these small changes that add up to big moves in the world of Hollywood.
All in all, it’s little bit heart-warming, and a little bit different from your normal festive romantic comedy. It’s also pretty funny and a mood lifter, perfect for the long dark winter evenings.
We recommend you watch this while wrapping your presents, decorating the tree, or even just sat in your pants.
You can watch Love Hard on Netflix now.
If you are looking for some other recommendations, check out our article on the podcast ‘My Favourite Murder’ here.