brifilms’s review published on Letterboxd:
I knew I’d probably like Love Hard. I love rom coms and Christmas movies a lot but I wasn’t expecting the film to warm my heart this much.
Yes, it is a tropey story and I predicted most of the main plot as it went along, but I really like the ideas it throws across in the film of growing from your mistakes and learning to have more self confidence. I really like the characters and the development Jimmy O. Yang’s character, Josh throughout, Yang gives a really great and layered performance, as does Nina Dobrev as the charismatic lead, Natalie, and everybody else in the film. I love how multi faceted every character is, they don’t just fit into their character molds of “nerd”, “asshole alpha male”, “funny grandma”, “neglectful father”, “passive mother”, “show-off brother”. They may fit into the basis of this character motif but they have multiple other dimensions and they go beyond the basic sort of character many other films like this exhibit.
Beyond being really great cast and character wise, I really enjoyed the pacing, music choices, and overall filmmaking present here, I think it’s really well done and benefits the film a lot.
Love Hard didn’t need to be anything special, it could’ve just been your basic cookie cutter plot and it does follow many of the tropes (the good ones), but writers Danny Mackey and Rebecca Ewing and director Hernán Jiménez really go above and beyond of what is needed for this story. This makes it such a sweet, delightful, and fun watch, with some of the best heartwarming and wholesome scenes I’ve seen in any rom-com in a long time. Definitely check out Love Hard, I love it a lot and I think it’s going to be something I come back to pretty frequently, perhaps a yearly tradition.