There is just something about Christmas in the movies! Twinkle lights seem to shine brighter, boughs of holly look more lush and noble firs appear to stand taller when captured onscreen. Such is definitely the case with Netflix’s latest holiday-themed offering, the rom-com “Love Hard,” which hit the streamer earlier this month. Chronicling unlucky-in-love dating columnist Natalie Bauer (Nina Dobrev), who shows up at her online crush’s house shortly before Christmas only to learn that he has been catfishing her, the film is set in the snowy small-town wonderland of Lake Placid, New York, though filming primarily took place in Vancouver, British Columbia. With a backdrop awash in a dazzling array of Yuletide finery, rich reds and greens permeate the screen at every turn.
The movie’s holiday glow-up comes courtesy of production designer/art director Patrick M. Sullivan, of “Mary Poppins Returns,” “Behind the Candelabra” and “Memoirs of a Geisha” fame, who had me itching to drag out my Christmas décor immediately upon watching, despite the fact that it was barely November at the time.
While “Love Hard’s” ambiance is festive through and through, one locale definitely shines heads and tails above the rest. Decked out in multi-colored lights, red bows and a pristine dusting of snow, Shimmering Pines, the charming Victorian-style nursing home where catfisher Josh Lin (Jimmy O. Yang) and his holiday-loving family take Natalie for an evening of caroling mid-film, is Christmas bliss epitomized!
Known as the Wilga House in real life, the picturesque Queen Anne can be found at 1020 Semlin Dr. on a leafy corner lot in Gastown’s Grandview-Woodland neighborhood, which, as described by the City of Vancouver website, is “an ethnically diverse area full of eclectic charm and character.” The region is also teeming with handsome and historic architecture, each tree-lined block seemingly more unique than the last.