Love Hard (2021)

Love Hard
Director: Hernan Jimenez
Writer: Daniel Mackey, Rebecca Ewing
Cast: Nina Dobrev, Jimmy O. Yang, Darren Barnet, James Saito,Rebecca Staab, Harry Shum Jr., Althea Kaye, Mikaela Hoover
Seen on: 13.5.2022

Content Note: ableism/lookism/fatmisia – don’t exactly know how to classify it

Plot:
Natalie (Nina Dobrev) writes a column about her dating experiences. Usually it’s about how aweful they are. But when she starts chatting with Josh (Jimmy O. Yang) online, it seems that she has finally been lucky. Except for the fact that he lives on the other side of the country. As Christmas comes nearer and their relationship deepens, Natalie decides to throw caution overboard. She simply books a flight to surprise Josh. But when she gets to Josh’s family home, she discovers that Josh has catfished her: he used photos of Tag (Darren Barnet) to lure her in. She is mortified, but the two strike a deal: she will pretend to be his girlfriend for the holidays, and he will help her meet the actual Tag.

I don’t usually watch Christmas movies in May, but I honestly overlooked that this was a Christmas movie in the first place. Anyhow, maybe it was the time mismatch, but Love Hard didn’t quite give me the fuzzy feelings I was looking for.

The film poster showing Natalie (Nina Dobrev) holding a cell phone. Below her we can see two drawn cell phones, one showing Josh (Jimmy O. Yang) smiling awkwardly, and the other Tag (Darren Barnet) looking ruggedly handsome.
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Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Always Be My Maybe
Director: Nahnatchka Khan
Writer: Ali Wong, Randall Park, Michael Golamco
Cast: Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito, Michelle Buteau, Vivian Bang, Keanu Reeves, Susan Park, Daniel Dae Kim, Karan Soni, Charlyne Yi, Lyrics Born, Casey Wilson
Seen on: 1.6.2019

Plot:
When Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) were kids, they were neighbors and best friends. It seemed like fate that they should fall in love as well, but they had a falling out instead and haven’t spoken in 15 years. After becoming a celebrity chef, Sasha has returns to San Francisco to open a new restaurant, after agreeing on a break from her fiancé Brandon (Daniel Dae Kim) – and runs into Marcus who seems not to have changed at all. The two carefully reconnect and have to ask themselves whether old wounds or old attractions still have a hold on the present.

Always Be My Maybe is sweet and fun, but I didn’t connect emotionally to it that much. Still, it’s very watchable.

The film poster showing Marcus (Randall Park) and Sasha (Ali Wong) standing with some distance between them, but their hands casually reaching for each other.
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