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12 Movies to Watch if You Like ‘Love Hard’

From ‘Bringing Up Baby’ to ‘Catfish,’ there’s something on this list for every ‘Love Hard’ fan to enjoy.
Love Hard Netflix
By  · Published on November 18th, 2021

Welcome to Beat the Algorithm — a recurring column dedicated to providing you with relevant and diverse streaming recommendations based on your favorite movies. Today, we’re recommending movies to watch if you’re a fan of the Netflix rom-com Love Hard.

A romantic comedy that’s witty, engaging, and pulls all the right heartstrings is pretty hard to come by in this day and age. So when one rolls around and it’s a bonafide good time, it’s something of a mini-miracle. This is the case with the Netflix Original movie Love Hard

Nina Dobrev stars as Natalie, an unlucky-in-love LA girl who meets her dream guy online. But when she goes to surprise him on the other side of the country, she learns she was actually catfished by Josh (Jimmy O. Yang). He agrees to set her up with the actual guy that he was posing as on one condition: she pretends to be his girlfriend over Christmas. 

Love Hard checks all the right boxes when it comes to delivering our sappy rom-com needs. It’s a story about the importance of caring for one another during the holiday season, the trials and tribulations of dating in the internet age, and ultimately, finding love against all odds.

And if you’re a fan of all of those things, you’re in luck, because we’ve got a curated list of similar recommendations.

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Youve Got Mail

Not only is this a Nora Ephron rom-com at the height of her powers, but it’s also one of the first-ever movies about dating in the internet age. You’ve Got Mail stars the charming Meg Ryan as a small-scale bookseller in New York City. She begins an anonymous, email-based relationship with a man (Tom Hanks) who, unbeknownst to her, owns a competing chain of bookstores putting shops like hers out of business.

Inspired by a 1937 Hungarian play called Parfumerie (which also spawned the 1940 film The Shop Around the Corner and the Broadway musical She Loves Me), it’s a fun relic to look back on in this time of dating apps and social media, and it’s one of the best examples of a high-concept rom-com that gracefully brings two people together against all odds. 

Available to stream on HBO Max and Peacock TV.

Amélie (2001)


This tops man lists of the best romantic movies of all time, and for good reason. Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie stars Audrey Tautou as the delightful, titular character, a young French woman with a vivid imagination who goes around meddling with people’s lives. Of course, she eventually falls in love. The movie’s bright, optimistic demeanor is perfect for anyone who allows themselves to be whisked away by a joyful and fanciful love story.

Good On Paper (2021)

Good On Paper movies like love hard

Like Love Hard, Good on Paper is a movie in which two people fall in love, but then it turns out one of them isn’t who they seem. Iliza Shlesinger, who also wrote the screenplay, stars as a stand-up comedian who has a meet-cute with a Yale-graduate hedge-fund manager. He’s the very definition of “good on paper.” But too good to be true? The movie is sharp, funny, and highlights all of the headaches of dating a stranger.

Available to stream on Netflix.

Catfish (2010)

Film Title: Catfish

Okay, you got us: this isn’t a rom-com. Nor is it even a fictional narrative film. But if it helps, Catfish is ultimately about the pursuit of love. Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, this documentary is one of the most fascinating inquiries into online dating out there. It follows Nev Schulman as he starts a relationship with a beautiful woman named Megan. Thinking this might be true love, the filmmakers help Nev track her down. Based on the doc’s title, you can probably guess what happens next.

Of course, this is actually the origin of the titular term and the worldwide fascination with the phenomena of catfishing —  pretending to be someone else online — and it spawned the hit MTV reality show of the same name, also starring Nev. The premise of Love Hard is based around catfishing, so if you were drawn in by that element, this excellent doc that started it all is definitely worth a watch.

Available to rent from Amazon, iTunes, and other digital VOD outlets. 

Serendipity (2001)


Everyone loves a good holiday romance, and I’m not interested in hearing otherwise! Peter Chelsom’s Serendipity delivers beautifully on our collective needs with a movie about love, once again, defying all odds. It stars John Cusak and Kate Beckinsale as Jonathan and Sara, a couple who meet, by chance, one snowy night in New York.

Sara decides that if they’re meant to be, they will find their way back to one another. She writes her name inside a book, and he writes his name on a bill. If they manage to find these items after they’re released into the world, that’ll be the universe’s way of bringing them together. Inspiring, warm, and fanciful, Serendipity is guaranteed to have all of your holiday love-story needs.

Available to stream on Netflix, Paramount+, Fubo TV, Pluto TV, Crackle, and Plex.

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Katharine Hepburn Bringing Up Baby
RKO Radio Pictures

Howard Hawks’ Bringing Up Baby proves that falling in love has been a pain for decades now. Sure, Susan (Katharine Hepburn) and David (Cary Grant) don’t have to deal with dating on the internet, but they’ve got a whole other wealth of issues to deal with.

A successful paleontologist, David’s life is turned to utter chaos when he happens to meet the eccentric Susan. The two don’t get along at first, but she still decides to recruit him to help her bring a giant leopard (named Baby) to her house. A timeless rom-com, Bringing Up Baby is one of the greatest movies about a relationship that gets off to an unconventional start — to say the least.

Available to rent from Amazon, iTunes, and other digital VOD outlets. 

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Aurora Amidon spends her days running the Great Expectations column and trying to convince people that Hostel II is one of the best movies of all time. Read her mostly embarrassing tweets here: @aurora_amidon.