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A review on Netflix’s new Christmas movie Love Hard

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Christmas is finally here, and that means spending your days watching Hallmark movies on repeat! But if you’re in your twenties like me, you’re looking for a movie that’s both modern and a little different than the usual Hallmark movies. That is precisely why I decided to give Netflix’s new original movie Love Hard a chance. I personally had mixed feelings about this movie, but it’s worth it! 

At first glance, it seems like any other Christmas movie about love and choosing between two guys. However, this one’s a little different. The whole storyline revolves around the main character Natalie Bauer (Nina Dobrev), getting catfished by a guy she met on a dating app. She then travels all the way to the other side of the country to meet up with him. To me, it’s like a modern, juicy twist on the regular Christmas movies you see. The audience is definitely teenagers and college students, which is why I feel like it was more relatable and enjoyable to watch. What pulled me most towards watching it was the casting of Darren Barnett, the hottie who plays Paxton in Netflix’s hit series Never Have I Ever. Being as I was so excited to see him play Tag in Love Hard, I was a little disappointed with the character he played and how the story ended up playing out. The producers of this movie did not do justice to this man’s talent, so I was utterly distraught.

Besides underestimating Darren’s talents, I felt the movie’s plot was super interesting. When the character Natalie showed up to the who she thought was Tag’s house, she was utterly shocked to see Josh, a short Asian man who looked nothing like the pictures on her dating app. So after he tells her the picture that she saw is actually Tag, one of his friends, she agrees to stay and go on dates with Tag in exchange for pretending to be Josh’s girlfriend. Tag is the hot guy Josh used to catfish Natalie. It was really satisfying to see Natalie finally start dating Tag, but there weren’t really any good scenes representing their relationship. It was mostly centered around the growth of Natalie’s relationship with Josh. I was pretty disappointed by that because if Josh was the one who lied to her, he should not have been in the spotlight of the story. To further disappoint, Natalie ends up with Josh realizing her feelings for him because she had pretended to connect with Tag the whole time. I was just expecting her to end up with Tag somehow, and it just felt wrong that it was with Josh. It was undoubtedly an unexpected ending. Sorry to spoil it, but it is honestly better to know before watching it.  

Though Love Hard did contradict the statement “Nice guys finish last,” it didn’t pass the vibe check. The plot was interesting; however, the execution, ending, and the storyline didn’t do it for me. So overall, I was pretty unhappy with the movie and wouldn’t watch it again, but I definitely would recommend watching it just to see Nina Dobrev and Darren Barnett. 

Anvi is a Junior Biology major who is currently an Editor for HerCampus. She is a succulent and cacti enthusiast who advocates for all things health and wellness. You can find her online shopping, drinking protein shakes or hanging out with her friends :)
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