I heard about Love Hard a few months ago, and I thought that it was interesting that Yang was going to be in a romantic comedy, surprisingly starring against a white female lead. Yang is best known for his work in HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ series playing Jian-Yang (which I eventually got to like), as well as his minor but entertaining role in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ as obnoxious Bernard, and for his Amazon Prime Video comedy special.
I like Yang and met him in person after his standup show in San Francisco back in 2019. I say ‘surprisingly’ that Yang is starring against a white female lead because as we know in popular media, we rarely see an Asian Male with a White Female (AM/WF).
The plot of ‘Love Hard‘ is not too particularly unique:
A romantic comedy about the lies we tell for love. An unlucky-in-love LA girl Natalie (Nina Dobrev) falls for a rugged East Coast guy Tag (Darren Barnet) on a dating app and decides to surprise him for the holidays—only to discover that she’s been catfished by his childhood friend Josh (Jimmy O. Yang).
Like most romantic comedies, Love Hard is fairly predictable. I’m sure you can guess how the film ends. Still, it’s a funny Christmas holiday romantic comedy. I was pleasantly surprised to see both James Saito and Harry Shum Jr. play Josh’s father and brother respectively (though Shum’s character is a bit exaggerated). Both of their characters’ wives are non-Asian.
As of this writing, on Rotten Tomatoes it scores a 56% (based on 18 reviews) and an audience score of 96% (with over 1,000+ reviews). More surprising is that it was the #1 film on Netflix the week it came out. It’s no When Harry Met Sally, which is my all time favorite romantic comedy, but if you’re into light romantic comedies without a lot of expectations, I recommend Love Hard.