Netflix’s “Love Hard” misses the rom in rom-com


Photo via Netflix

Netflix’s holiday movie, “Love Hard,” was released on Nov. 5, and as someone who loves rom-coms and Christmas, I was inclined to watch it. My love for Christmas movies automatically makes any of them a great watch for me, but, needless to say, this one wasn’t.

The movie centers around Natalie (Nina Dobrev), a journalist with a disaster dating column, who is desperate to find a good story and fall in love. As a journalist, she writes about all of her bad dating experiences and is pushed to try something new, leading to her meeting Josh (Jimmy O. Yang) on an online dating app. They talk for weeks, and she develops feelings for him as they grow closer. Natalie goes to New York to surprise him for the holidays, and she arrives there to find that Josh looks nothing like the photos on his profile page.

The movie was raw as it followed how Josh wanted to stray away from being completely masculine and dealing with a lot of insecurities, especially because of his spotlight-stealing brother. While Josh is looking to accept himself, Natalie is looking for redemption and honesty. Natalie discovers something important at the end of the film that underlies a worldly message about self-love and acceptance: we should learn to love ourselves before we can start loving others. Natalie also realized that love has to be honest and not perfect, which shows how the movie speaks volumes about being genuine and the importance of honesty.

The concept and theme were great, but I still felt like something was missing. Natalie and Josh seemed like close friends who care about one another, but the romance was abrupt. I was never able to see a romantic connection between the two. The ending was sweet, but still felt incomplete. There were a lot of moments throughout the movie that just ended out of nowhere, and I always felt like there was more that could have been said. 

The film was nothing new. It was your typical movie where the lead gets catfished and falls in love in an unexpected way. It was stereotypical and honestly underwhelming. I liked how messages about self-love are highlighted, but other than that, I did not find anything else about the movie that I enjoyed, especially because the main leads had no chemistry. 

Overall, the film was entertaining and funny, but was missing the romance part of rom-com. The movie seemed too fast-paced and awkward at points. Regardless, I would recommend this movie to anyone looking for just a funny holiday movie.