Hernan Jimenez’s Love Hard is the latest Christmas rom-com to hit Netflix, and it holds within its core everything one could expect and want from a Christmas flick.
It is 105 minutes of easy, feel-good and at times heart-warming content. Though it is at times cheesy, what else would we expect from a Christmas rom-com?
The film follows Natalie, a dating columnist who falls for Josh, a man she meets online. After the two grow closer, Natalie decides to surprise him in New York for Christmas only to find out that she has been catfished. After being confronted by the harsh reality of the situation, Josh makes a deal with Natalie: if she pretends to be his girlfriend for the holidays he will set her up with the man, Tag, whom Josh was pretending to be.
The film is by no means an original concept but it does offer its own quirky spin on a classic premise making it pretty enjoyable.
What works best about the film is its ability to provide sincere laughter throughout. It delivers well-timed and pulled-off humour that can make one easily laugh out loud.
However, sometimes melodrama and stupidity tries to shape the joke which only works against the films genuine eye for a largely witty and quirky script.
Additionally, the film’s endearing glimpses of originality: from Josh changing the lyrics of ‘Baby, it’s cold outside’ and the idea of candles for men, to its parallels to Christmas classics, allows the film to flex a small creative muscle and offer some newness to the cinematic sphere.
The film is predictable and lacks realism in moments like when Natalie asks Josh if he has a brother then said brother arriving right on cue or Owen knowing exactly where Natalie is after lying about her whereabouts.
These things let down the film somewhat, creating gaps in both the story and the film’s realism and what takes place is a slight reduction to just pure, bad film-making, which is aggravating.
However, we do root for Josh and Natalie. Their chemistry, as well as Dobrev and Yang’s acting, makes the film an enjoyable watch despite its flaws.
Will Love Hard be the next big Christmas classic? No, it won’t. But it will provide some laughs, and feel-good entertainment to get you into the Christmas spirit and into your feels.
photo credit: digitalspy.com