Kick Off Christmas Season With Netflix’s ‘Love Hard’

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Published November 14, 2021
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"Love Hard," a Netflix film starring Nina Dobrev, was released on Nov. 5, 2021. Photo courtesy of Netflix

It’s November, which means the beginning of the Christmas rom-com season has officially begun. Netflix kicked it off with the release of “Love Hard,” directed by Hernán Jiménez, on Nov. 5, 2021.

Nina Dobrev plays Natalie, a woman from Los Angeles, California who makes a career out of her failed love life by writing for a popular dating column. Even though people are only interested in hearing about her failures, Natalie is looking for more: her true love.

Finally, she has a perfect swipe on a dating app called “Flirt Alert,” where she matches with a chiseled, funny, charismatic guy. Though Natalie has never seen her long-distance match, they make it work.

Desperate to get her happy ending, she flies to New York to surprise her match for Christmas. When she finds herself in his family’s living room, she meets Josh, played by Jimmy O. Yang, who was not who he seemed to be. After Natalie coincidentally spots the man she thought her date actually was, Tag, played by Darren Barnet, she and Josh make a deal that will help Natalie end up with him.

Darren Barnet (left) plays Tag, while Jimmy O. Yang (right) plays Josh. Photo courtesy of Netflix

Darren Barnet (left) plays Tag, while Jimmy O. Yang (right) plays Josh.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

Not only is it a feel-good movie, but “Love Hard” also gets you into the Christmas spirit and is the perfect rom-com to watch as you are snuggling under a heap of blankets on a chilly day.

The warm tone in the movie adds to the likability of the film as well, by evoking a sense of comfort within viewers. Most Christmas movies use this warm tone, so it is no surprise that Jiménez decided to take this approach. From what the characters wear, to the warm, orange tones that surround them, the film makes viewers feel right at home, with elements of humor, energy and enthusiasm.

“Love Hard” lives up to its label as a comedy with certain scenes, especially a certain one that takes place in a bar. Though some may think the lines are cheesy, they are what make the movie a rom-com after all.

Harry Shum Jr. and Mikaela Hoover portray a married couple in "Love Hard." Photo courtesy of Netflix

Harry Shum Jr. and Mikaela Hoover portray a married couple in “Love Hard.”
Photo courtesy of Netflix

As with most rom-com movies, the plot is very predictable. But, that did not stop me from enjoying “Love Hard,” and it shouldn’t keep you from doing the same.

“Love Hard” is not just a cheesy film of its genre; it has a deeper meaning as well. It teaches the audience the importance of seeking connection rather than perfection when pursuing a relationship.

Nina Dobrev plays Natalie, a woman from Los Angeles, California who makes a career out of her failed love life by writing for a popular dating column. Photo courtesy of Netflix

Nina Dobrev plays Natalie, a woman from Los Angeles, California who makes a career out of her failed love life by writing for a popular dating column.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

People seem to view things from the outside instead of looking in, similar to Natalie. “Love Hard” shows that by forgetting the outside for a brief moment and truly looking inward, people might see more than they expect. By looking in, people can see others for who they truly, wholeheartedly are.

“Love Hard” does a great job of delivering this message; that there is no such thing as the “perfect person,” but that by being more open-minded, we allow ourselves to find the “perfect person” for us. This message is executed perfectly as the film does not shove it in viewers’ faces, but keeps them entertained as they see it unfold.

Natalie (played by Nina Dobrev) shares a drink with Tag (played by Darren Barnet). Photo courtesy of Netflix

Natalie shares a drink with Tag.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

It is never too early to start celebrating the Christmas season, and Netflix has made that clear with “Love Hard.” Maybe you’ll even swipe and find that “perfect” match like Natalie this holiday season.

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