In the digital age, online dating has become a double-edged sword. While it’s easier to meet people, forming genuine connections can be more challenging. Netflix’s romantic comedy, Love Hard, perfectly encapsulates this modern-day dilemma. The film follows the love life of Natalie Bauer, played by Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), an LA-based writer who documents her online dating misadventures in a column. When she meets Tag, an East Coast guy, online, she impulsively flies to his hometown to surprise him for the holidays. However, her leap of faith takes an unexpected turn when she discovers that Tag is actually a nerdy Asian guy named Josh Lin, played by Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley). As it turns out, the real Tag, played by Darren Barnet (Never Have I Ever), does live in the same town. Josh agrees to help Natalie win over Tag if she pretends to be his girlfriend for the holidays. Here are five love lessons we can learn from Love Hard:
5. Honesty is the foundation of stable relationships
Trust and honesty are the cornerstones of any healthy relationship. Commitment is already daunting, so being with someone who can’t be truthful isn’t worth your time and effort. Eventually, hidden secrets will come to light. Love Hard demonstrates the consequences of dishonesty, as Josh catfishes Natalie due to his insecurities, and Natalie lies about herself to attract the real Tag. The characters learn the hard way that one lie can’t fix another.
4. Genuine connections can’t be forced
You can polish your dating profile to perfection, but chemistry is impossible to fake. A true connection with someone should come effortlessly. Despite their rocky start, Natalie and Josh’s undeniable chemistry shines through their shared humor, interests, and easy conversations. This becomes even more apparent when Natalie pretends to be someone she’s not to win over Tag, proving that you can’t choose who you truly connect with.
3. Personality matters more than physical appearance
A relationship based solely on physical attraction is doomed to fail. While looks may be the first thing you notice, it’s a person’s character and personality that determine the longevity of a relationship. Looks fade, but personality endures. Although Natalie wasn’t initially attracted to Josh, his personality won her over in time. Ultimately, you want to be with someone who makes you laugh and allows you to be yourself.
2. Don’t force yourself on others
Being true to yourself is one of the best things you can do. You don’t need to pretend to be someone you’re not to fit in. The people who are meant to be in your life will accept you for who you are. Natalie becomes so consumed with winning Tag’s affection that she pretends to be someone she’s not, even feigning an adventurous spirit despite her inner fears. This is a red flag and a recipe for future complications. Thankfully, Natalie comes to her senses before getting in too deep.
1. The best love stories happen when you least expect them
Love Hard is a feel-good rom-com that offers a light and heartwarming viewing experience, perfect for a cozy night in. The film’s unconventional approach to romance, tackling realistic issues and relatable characters, sets it apart from typical rom-com fare. Natalie and Josh’s love story unfolds in the most unexpected and random circumstances, proving that love often finds you when you least expect it. Sequel ideas have been playfully discussed by the cast, and honestly, it doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all. Love Hard serves as a reminder that love can be found in the most surprising places and times.
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