Finding Love has always been hard! But this is especially true in the case of modern Love through online dating apps. While many of us relate to this harsh reality, Natalie Bauer is the perfect embodiment of a lovesick millennial who is sick of looking for love on dating apps.
Want to find out how Love takes its turn in Love Hard, a jolly Christmas rom-com, produced by Wonderland Sound and Vision? Let’s dive deep in!
‘Love Hard’ Plot Summary – When Love actually meets Die Hard!
Natalie Bauer is an online column writer for Soash Media who writes about her disaster online dating experiences under the pseudonym, “Always a Bridesmaid.” While her dating experiences don’t seem to get any better, her writing career flourishes. Almost as if people enjoy her misery! When her friend Kerry finally extends Natalie’s dating app’s search radius to countrywide, she finally matches with a seemingly perfect man named Josh.
Unlike Natalie’s previous experiences, she and Josh have an incredible time getting to know each other. She realizes that Josh is not only attractive but also quite interesting, charming, and warm. While Josh’s profile says that “Love, Actually” is the best Christmas movie ever, Natalie disagrees with him, saying that her favorite Christmas movie is “Die Hard,” much to his surprise.
However, as Christmas starts to near in real life, Josh casually texts Natalie that he really wishes she was with him. Instinctively, Natalie decides that she must go and visit Josh for Christmas across the country in Lake Placid, NY. Natalie’s boss Lee believes that this match could indeed be Natalie’s most terrible date and could make an excellent feature for her column.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Fake profile to Fake Girlfriend!
Natalie arrives at Josh’s house and meets with his Caucasian mom (Barb), Chinese dad (Bob), and grandmother (June), who are thrilled to meet Josh’s attractive date. Much to her surprise, the Josh she meets isn’t the same man on the display picture of her match! Disheartened at being catfished, Natalie storms out of his house and walks into a nearby bar, and gets drunk, only to discover the second big surprise of the night.
Natalie now sees the man in Josh’s profile walking into that bar! After a quick phone call with Kerry, she convinces herself that this man could indeed be her one true Love. Confidently, Natalie saunters up on the stage, intending a sexy karaoke performance. However, having gotten drunk with a cocktail with kiwi, her face swells up with allergy. She ends up in a (veterinary) hospital where (the real) Josh has taken her. After a heated discussion over their dating “mistake,” the two agree that if she pretends to be his girlfriend in front of his family for a week, Josh will hook her up with Tag (the man in his profile).
One Rock At A Time
Natalie and Josh spend some valuable time together amidst their pretend relationship. Meanwhile, he helps Natalie learn about Tag’s interests, such as reading works of Thoreau, and rock climbing, all of which she has a hard time embracing. One such event occurs when Josh helps her stay calm amidst her terrifying rock climbing date with Tag.
Through their self-created adventures, the duo learns a lot about each other. Natalie discovers Josh’s amusement about candle-making and how he thinks it can be a perfect business. She is later introduced to Owen and Chelsea, Josh’s obnoxiously entitled brother and sister-in-law, who love being the center of attention. Being a good friend, Natalie insists Josh to never let those two steal the spotlight from him.
The “Marry” Christmas
Having taken her advice, Josh proposes to Natalie on Christmas in front of his family (to get back at Owen). Even though she says yes, to avoid embarrassment, Natalie is quite angry at Josh for making a rash move. The two now pretend to live in a “fake” engagement while Natalie continues to see Tag.
A suspicious Owen finds out about Natalie dating Tag as he sees the two at Abbott’s steakhouse. Natalie gradually realizes how incompatible she is with Tag (the guy she is trying to impress) and her deepening relation with her fake fiance. Consumed with guilt for trapping Natalie in a dishonest relationship, Josh decides that he will come clean in front of his family.
Not a Christmas movie
Surprisingly, Josh’s family has thrown an engagement party for them at Abbott’s steakhouse, as insisted by Owen. Unfortunately, there is no scope for escape for the duo as Tag, Lee, and most people of the town are present at this party. Realizing that there is no point in pretending, Natalie reveals the truth about her dating “mishap” in front of everyone. Tag, feeling deceived, storms out in anger, not before confronting Natalie that “Die Hard” is not a Christmas movie!
‘Love Hard’ Ending Explained – To Love, Actually!
Josh is heartbroken to find out that Natalie has left for LA, after all the drama they have been through. In a heartwarming moment with his father, Josh confesses that he wants to set up a candle-making business. Fortunately, Bob appreciates his decision instead of making fun of it!
On the other hand, Lee obliges Natalie to give him an article, now that so much has happened with her dating life. He confronts her about always fleeing at the first sign of flaw, yet having fallen madly in Love with Josh despite his imperfections. When Natalie finally sees that Josh had actually put out his “real” self on his dating app profile, she realizes her true feelings for him. Once again, she flies all the way to lake placid and confesses her feelings for Josh holding a cardboard chart, like in the movie Love, Actually.
Now that Natalie and Josh are happy in a real relationship, Josh’s grandma June seeks dating advice by asking the meaning of a “d*ck pic”!
Love Hard is a 2021 Romantic Comedy film directed by Hernan Jimenez. It is streaming on Netflix.