Helmed by Costa Rican filmmaker Hernán Jiménez, the festive-themed romantic comedy ‘Love Hard’ lends a poised and endearing look at love and its discontents. Nina Dobrev stars as Natalie, a confused LA-based columnist who has made a career out of her unlucky dating attempts. However, when she matches with Josh, things start to look different for a change.
On a whim, Natalie travels across the country to surprise Josh for the holidays. Is Josh the perfect guy she’s ever encountered, or will this end up being her worst dating disaster yet? Thus begins an exciting and enlivening comedy filled with fun and foibles. However, you may seek to know how much of the story is based in reality. In that case, let us run a detailed investigation on your behalf.
Is Love Hard Based on A True Story?
No, ‘Love Hard’ is not based on a true story. Hernán Jiménez made the movie from a script penned by Daniel Mackey and literary agent-turned writer Rebecca Ewing. The duo partnered for the first time in this project and wrote the screenplay on a spec. Their screenplay was pitched as ‘When Harry Met Sally’ meets ‘Roxanne.’ In August 2019, Netflix optioned for the script, with the hope of making it into a blockbuster. In August 2020, a year after the acquisition of the script by the streaming giant, it was revealed that Hernán Jiménez would rear the story with his directorial vision.
The perils of online dating are not secret in our day and age. And catfishing, the central driving theme of the story, is popular enough to have a reality show made out of it – ‘Catfish: The TV Show.’ However, while these new film and television projects acknowledge catfishing as a primary modern dating problem, they don’t probe deeper to dissect the practice. This film becomes quite involved in its theme and tries to read the phenomena of catfishing from all angles. Sometimes, we try to impersonate a character we think the other person would like, but we are not being honest with ourselves.
Josh is the most apparent catfish in the story, but as the tale moves forward, we also notice that Natalie may be a catfish as well. Star Nina Dobrev, who plays the character of Natalie in the story, divulged that she has never been on a dating app herself. She felt like dating has become harder, but the actress-musician acknowledged that she helped her friends create their profiles. In the process, she came to know the titbits of dating perils. The two songs sung by the character (one in the karaoke bar and the other as a duet with Josh) are also Nina’s own.
Her hatred for Thoreau may also be justified, and her points of critique may have been inspired by a controversial New Yorker column by Kathryn Schulz. Although Natalie’s opinion is only one way to look at the legacy of Thoreau, the opinionated character lends another layer of nuance to the surface. Therefore, most of the story is grounded in reality, its pronounced fictional character notwithstanding. However, the realistic ambiance of the story is almost solely the result of a witty script and a seamless dynamic between the characters. By staying tethered to the familiar world of online dating, the movie becomes more relatable to the audience. However, if you are looking for the app FlirtAlert, we would be compelled to say that it does not exist.
Read More: Love Hard Ending, Explained