Love Hard is a romantic comedy starring Nina Dobrev, Jimmy O. Yang, and Darren Barnet that was like a breath of fresh air. I recently binged The Vampire Diaries and became a fan of Nina, Ian, and Paul (the actors playing the lead roles), so I was looking for other movies they have worked in. That’s how I stumbled upon this movie.
I’ve only seen Jimmy O. Yang in stand-up comedy shorts where he talks about his Chinese father and in Never Have I Ever, a Netflix series. The combination of the two seemed unexpected!
Love Hard(2021): The Plot
The movie’s main character is Natalie, played by Nina. Nat is a writer who works for a magazine/website in Los Angeles. She writes about her terrible dates in her column, which has gained popularity among readers. However, Nat herself is losing hope in love. Just when she’s about to give up on finding the right guy, she meets Josh on a dating app. Right away, Josh seems like he’s straight out of a girl’s fantasy: good-looking, smart, with a great sense of humor and sincere friendliness.
Josh and Nat talked day and night about anything and everything. Within a matter of months, they grew very close. Nat’s faith in love was restored, so she decided to take it further. For Christmas, she went to Lake Placid – Josh’s hometown – to surprise him and meet him in person.
Nat’s boss wasn’t happy about her seemingly boring date since only disasters would entice readers. Meanwhile, Nat’s close friend found Josh too good to be true.
Nat had a rough start to her journey. She lost her luggage on the plane but managed to hail a cab and reach Josh’s place. Josh lived with his parents, who welcomed Natalie. Finally, she met the guy she’d been talking to day and night. However, Josh wasn’t the handsome hunk he seemed to be on the dating app; he was an average-looking Asian guy who was shocked to find Natalie in his living room.
Nat realized she had been catfished and couldn’t stay in the house any longer. She went to a local bar to think about her next step where she met Tag, the handsome guy whose photo was used by Josh on the dating app. Nat considered giving it another shot and talking to Tag but had an allergic reaction from a drink. Fortunately, Josh arrived just in time to take her to a doctor.
Nat was angry. Josh apologized and mentioned Tag, his classmate who loved adventure activities and literature. He promised to help Nat befriend him. Although Tag had different tastes than Nat, she still pretended to like everything he did in an attempt to impress him.
They met for rock climbing. Nat was terrified of heights, but Josh helped her calm down and be cool in front of Tag. As a result, Tag started liking Natalie. Meanwhile, Josh’s family took Nat as his girlfriend and treated her like family. Josh had an attention-seeking elder brother who always took the spotlight but nobody cared for him. He was passionate about candle-making but lacked the courage to follow his passion and leave his father’s shop.
Josh was a great guy with a pure heart, but he lacked confidence. Nat helped boost his self-esteem by being there for him.
Josh’s brother was skeptical of his girlfriend from the start. He looked for evidence to prove that Nat wasn’t Josh’s girlfriend. One night, Josh proposed to Nat in front of their family to show that their relationship is legitimate.
Nat and Josh agreed to continue their pretend couple act until New Year’s Eve. While out, Josh introduced Nat to Tag. To impress him, Nat told many lies and pretended to like things she didn’t. At an engagement party thrown by Josh’s family at Tag’s father’s restaurant, all the lies were exposed. Tag confronted Nat about her behavior, pointing out that while she was upset with Josh for catfishing her, she had done the same thing to him by pretending to be someone else.
Things went downhill from there. Josh’s parents loved Nat, despite knowing all the lies, but were heartbroken when they found out the truth. Nat left their house and checked into a hotel to contemplate her life. While Josh helped Nat with her relationship issues, she asked him to set up his dating profile again with his own photos and reassured him that he was worthy of love. Sitting in the hotel room alone, Nat discovered that Josh had taken her advice seriously and created a genuine account showing his true self this time around. She realized that it was Josh whom she loved for his personality and sense of humor; she never really had an issue with his appearance either. Finally, Nat went back to Josh’s house and proposed to him – everybody cheered when they got back together!
My Final Thoughts
Love Hard is a lighthearted movie. It doesn’t have too many characters or plots to keep track of, and the premise is relatable. The characters are also easy to relate to. Finding love in today’s world can be tough – you might go on 100 dates, but finding someone who’s genuine and not just there for show is rare. This movie reminds us not to take life too seriously and just have fun!
Overall I’d rate this 4/5 for giving me a good time and pleasant break in my mundane routine.
Thanks for reading, have a great day! XOXO
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