Arts, Movies, Review

‘Love Hard’ Struggles to Bring True Meaning to Rom-Coms


Cheesy references to movie classics like The Breakfast Club and Love Actually along with slightly forced dialogue set low expectations for Netflix’s new movie Love Hard. The first scenes that introduce the hardworking but burnt out writer Natalie (Nina Dobrev) who is ready to give up on love and writes about her “disaster dates” in a magazine column are eerily familiar to anyone who has watched a few romantic comedies. 

The movie is centered around Natalie’s trip to surprise Josh (Jimmy O. Yang), a man she has met online, only to realize that she has been catfished. On his dating app profile Josh is honest about everything, but he uses pictures of his more attractive friend, Tag (Darren Barnet). Natalie spends her trip navigating these new relationships with both Tag and Josh.  

The largely predictable plot is aided by a witty and relatable, if slightly unnatural, dialogue. Commentary on modern concepts like social media and online dating apps help to cover up the film’s reliance on overused rom-com tropes. 

At first glance, this movie appears to be a mess of cheesy and superficial romantic themes transferred to a modern dating situation, but it does manage to leave the viewer with a meaningful message about dating, relationships, and how people present themselves in the search for love. The feel-good message is supported by a festive soundtrack meant to get viewers in the holiday spirit. 

The movie also succeeds in its representation of Asian Americans, as each of Josh’s family members have unique personalities outside of their Asian identities and the film’s portrayal of family dynamics can be true of any family. 

The film may cause viewers to look more closely at their own relationships and to reevaluate their sense of self. Great for a rainy day, Love Hard is a cliché, but worthwhile movie about the, at times, confusing and stressful journey of navigating romantic relationships. 

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

November 14, 2021