When Natalie Bauer an LA journalist swipes right on her dream guy Tag she thinks everything is eventually going to work out in her life and decides that she will surprise him for Christmas and flies across to the East Coast. However, she quickly discovers she has been catfished by Josh.
Love Hard is a little play on the lead characters favourite Christmas films, Love Actually and Die Hard if you agree the latter is a Christmas film of course (yes it is by the way) and it does have so many nice and lovely moments as well as an interesting idea of a story at its core. Thinking about that old judgement on how someone looks and how that really does influence people. However, it also doesn’t really explore the risks of online dating and that being catfished could be extremely dangerous.
I personally couldn’t get past that and struggled after that moment and how she then actually agreed to pretend to be Josh’s girlfriend, mainly for the sake of his family while trying to get to know the real Tag who was a childhood friend of Josh. I guess that then becomes creepy in a very different way as Natalie pretends she likes everything that Tag does and surely that then makes what she is doing a similar thing to catfish?
The thing is though the film does have some rather nice messages with it as well, like never giving up on finding love as you just never know when it could happen for you. That works both ways for each of the characters in here, as well as chasing your dreams no matter what your family might think and feel about it. Talking to others really does help and work is something else that came through from it!
The references and debates towards other Christmas films was decent with Love Actually receiving a lot of attention and being spoofed as well! I guess that is something that you cannot escape since its release. Then the response with the Die Hard reference was a nice touch.
Nina Dobrev and Jimmy O. Yang worked well enough together, but as I have already mentioned the catfish aspect was very difficult to overcome!