The recent holiday movie Love Hard on Netflix derives from a comparatively more modern plot than its counterparts who tend to explore castles and snowy forests for Christmas love stories. Love Hard instead explores a dating app through its lead character played by Nina Dobrev and lands her at the home of a man who catfished her all the way across the country. She finds him online, connects to his pictures and a personality that indulges her virtually and flies 3000 miles to see him for Christmas – only to figure out he wasn’t who he said he was and she had yet another dating disaster in hand.
Love Hard starts dropping hints early on as Natalie (Nina’s character) loses her luggage at the airport which points to the consequence that she’ll have to stay back at the destination longer than she intends; even after she finds out that she’s been catfished. Of course, any seasoned romantic movie viewer can guess that Natalie will end up falling in love with the guy who catfished her – but Love Hard does give the climax a steady unfolding – with some interesting inclusions through the way. Josh – the guy who catfished Natalie in the disguise of Tag, is an Asian man with all the mushy traits that we’ll fall in love with. He has a big, beautiful family with a traditional bully of a big brother – who does end up being loving at the end. Love Hard apparently embodies all the clichés of a holiday romance, but somehow ends up giving a feeling of novelty with its inclusiveness of character types and the plotline of catfishing.
They make it a little interesting with Tag, the handsome man Josh used as a facade to catfish Natalie, who appears before Natalie and she pursues him with a facade of her own. She comes a full circle when he reveals to her that she did the exact same thing that she accused Josh of doing to her – she hid behind a pseudo personality that Tag would be impressed with until she couldn’t carry it anymore. The chaotic montage right before the big revelation is the best part of the movie, making wise.
Love Hard attempts some depth in plot with the idea of affirming one’s identity through the plot of catfishing. Other than that, things stay on the surface and they could have done without playing Natalie as a writer who has built a career out of writing about her disaster dating life; but Love Hard is an entertaining watch alright.
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