NO HARD FEELINGS – A Review by Jenn Rohm
In the ‘80s a large portion of movies were made about male first-time experiences or additional conquests to boast about. As a female growing up and watching those films, they did influence my thoughts of what being female was and the expectations males had. I was glad to see the trend fall away. The information filtering in about No Hard Feelings had me fearing progress had been lost.
Maddie (Jennifer Lawrence) was born and raised in Montauk. She is a bartender and Uber driver trying to make as much as she can during the summer season when the well-to-do tourists and seasonal residents come to town. With homes being bought up and torn down for McMansions, property taxes have skyrocketed. With a court order for asset seizure, she has to find a new vehicle. While searching on Craig’s List she finds an ad placed by Allison (Laura Benanti) and Laird (Matthew Broderick), two overly involved parents, to “date” their son Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman) in exchange for a used Buick. The twist to the plan is Percy is a social recluse and doesn’t have dating, let alone losing his virginity, on his summer list.
Lawrence is a strong talent that is given a chance to show her skill at slapstick comedy. The character has layers, and we get to see them in large and small moments. From rollerblading to work, risky driving to avoid getting pulled over, having a very honest conversation about her Prom with Percy, and in moments hanging out with friends to her showing how much she cares for them. This bigger picture of the character shown throughout the helps to overcome the eww factor in an over-30 woman attempting to seduce a just out-of-high school 19-year-old.
Feldman is someone to watch. His comedic timing is shown in scenes like when the crack of a break from a game of pool caused him to jolt like it was a gunshot, to his drinking wine with his parents, and his facial expressions while driving a car. He also brings an innocence to the character that allows the audience to fall under his spell and want to be his friend.
There were some good parts to this film, yet it could have been so much more. No shame to Lawrence, she looks amazing, and it shows she has worked hard to have the body she has. Letting everyone fully see said body disappointed me. There were other ways to still have the scene or even take it out altogether. The nudity did not add to the story and, to me, it is more of an attempt to draw people to pay just like in the ‘80s. Interactions involving the character Jody, while humorous, were predictable and didn’t add enough to the story. Leaving them out would have provided time to see more growth by Percy. And maybe even lessons learned by Allison and Laird over their parenting style.
Director: Gene Stupnitsky
Written By: Gene Stupnitsky, John Phillips
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Andrew Barth Feldman, Laura Benanti, Matthew Broderick
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content, language, some graphic nudity, and brief drug use.
Selig Rating: 2.5 stars
Runtime: 1h 43m
Release Date: June 23, 2023
Movie Site: No Hard Feelings movie site
Trailer: No Hard Feelings official trailer
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.
4 Stars – Good movie/show
3 Stars – OK movie/show
2 Stars – Well there was nothing else . . .
1 Star – Total waste of time.