Today we talk about Love Hard, a romantic comedy released on Netflix last November 5th, The film, directed by Hernán Jiménez García, with some actors already seen on screen such as Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries, We are infinite), Jimmy O. Yang (Fantasy Island, Business Friends, Interns), Darren barnet e Harry Shum Jr. We would like to warn readers that in this review we will talk about catfishing; an unpleasant behavior, which many people may have suffered and therefore may have difficulty dealing with apparent lightness as this film does.

At Christmas many (not so much) good feelings

Natalie (Nina Dovreb) is an unlucky girl in love; can't find a soul mate and every meeting on Tinder ends in abysmal disappointment. This enormous misfortune is, perhaps fortunately, his job: he writes about his unfortunate adventures in a newspaper, thus delighting readers with a bit of healthy benaltrism. That is, until she finds Josh Lin, a stranger on the other side of the state with whom she is very close. So determined to beat his proverbial bad luck, she leaves to meet him; upon his arrival, however, she finds herself being deceived by the real Josh (Jimmy O. Yang). The latter has in fact taken the photos of his childhood friend, Tag (Darren Barnet) and used it to "lure" Natalie, relying on the huge distance between the two to keep the deception standing.

Natalie is shocked: she abandons Josh and the boy's family and takes refuge in a bar, where she discovers that Tag is in town and decides to get help from his deceiver to conquer him. Of course, things start to creak right away: the presence of Josh's family and his brother in the first place, the fact that we are in a small town and finally the fact that Tag is absolutely not Natalie's type.

Love Hard: Darren Barnet, Nina Dobrev and Jimmy O. Yang
Love Hard: Darren Barnet, Nina Dobrev and Jimmy O. Yang

A film without too many pretensions

Wanting to gloss over the huge elephant in the room, Love Hard is a really simple film: it doesn't take itself seriously and tries to convey shareable messages: love yourself as you are, don't lie to people, look for something beyond your physical appearance. All seasoned with a generalized Christmas atmosphere, which softens a little the rocks that you encounter when looking at Love Hard, in effect a catfishing experience. The big problem is the initial reaction and the motivations behind the character choices; those turn up their noses on more than one occasion.

Nina Dobrev and Jimmy O. Yang make a good duo, despite the plot creaking a little in the face of coincidences; the characters that change their minds abruptly and, in general, the plot is a little too simple. The fact, for example, that Natalie is willing to do anything to beat her bad luck (even lying to Tag), which immediately frames her as a fairly negative character, takes a back seat; the film focuses on Natalie's lying, showing how Tag is deeply not into her and how this is forced. There is also a bit of redemption (a bit like that, but there is) and an alternative vision to toxic masculinity made only of muscle, strength and courage. In short, it is not really everything to throw away. The fact that you try to pass a Catfishing as something even remotely positive made Love Hard extremely bitter.

Love Hard: a scene from the film