Netflix's New Holiday Rom-Com Hits No. 1

Netflix viewers are starting to get Into the holiday spirit, and the streaming service has already begun launching its usual slate of new holiday romantic comedies. One of the first of their 2021 crop is Love Hard, starring Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries) and Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley), which takes on dating in the age of technology. The movie dropped on Nov. 5 and it's already hit No. 1 on Netflix's Top 10 charts for movies and overall. 

Love Hard follows Natalie (Dobrev), an L.A.-based writer who has built a career writing about the horrible dates she's been on over the years. She connects with Josh (Yang) on a dating app and spontaneously decides to fly 3,000 miles to Lake Placid, NY, to surprise him for Christmas. It turns out that Josh has been catfishing her with photos of his friend Tag (Darren Barnet from Never Have I Ever) and he somehow convinces her to pretend to be his girlfriend for the holidays. In turn, she will write about her experiences and keep her job as professionally "unlucky in love."

While some people might object to the narrative choice of a woman falling in love with her catfisher, Dobrev insists that the movie Is about "prioritizing connection" in romantic relationships. "My character gets 'catfished,' but the person she was actually speaking to, the person she has chemistry with is Josh [her catfisher]," Dobrev told Refinery29. "I think you can get distracted by surface-level things, but really it's connection that will last a lifetime. As my mom says, 'Beauty fades, dumb is forever.'"

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When asked if she was worried about getting typecast, Dobrev explained that she wasn't. "I was really excited to do this movie," she said to Refinery29. "Being on that kind of set, there is such a light energy, you're just laughing all the time. Shooting during the pandemic, I wanted to do a comedy and I knew the world wanted to see that, so I had no reservations. I'm sure if you're Jennifer Aniston and you've done so many of them, you could get typecast, but I'm not there yet. I've only done one other rom-com. Talk to me in a few years." Love Hard is now available to stream on Netflix.