No Hard Feelings

June 22, 202330/1006 min
Starring
Jennifer Lawrence, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Natalie Morales, Matthew Broderick
Written by
John Phillips and Gene Stupnitsky
Directed by
Gene Stupnitsky
Run Time
1h 43min
Release Date
June 23rd, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Summary

           Some would say comedies are a dying breed and I would say that is partially correct, as good comedies seem to be harder and harder to find. Sometimes though a studio will let the comedy hounds loose and with the right cast, writing, and of course the right crowd, you get a great night at the movies. That looks like the case with Jennifer Lawrence’s new film No Hard Feelings, but instead of the great time you were hoping for, you are given a different feeling.

            Maddie (Jenifer Lawrence) is not living her best life as things are getting a little tough right now. How tough might you ask? Well she is behind on her taxes and is about to lose the house her mother left her. If that is not enough, her main source of income as an UBER driver dries up as her car just got repossessed. So yeah, things are not looking good for Maddie. Well there might be a chance for her to save everything and all it would take is to make a man out a 19-year old, who has lived a pretty sheltered life. How would one meet a guy like that? Well by his parents putting an ad on Craig’s List to find a girl willing to do that, and as payment, they get a car when it’s done. So Maddie finds out where to meet Percy (Andrew Barth Feildman), as she tries to date him hard. Percy is of course pretty awkward, and Maddie is pretty advanced, but Maddie’s plan to get in and out with that car takes a turn as she starts to actually like his company. Along the way to that discovery though, high-jinks occur and when it is all over, both Percy and Maddie have learned some life lessons.

Written by John Phillips and Gene Stupnitsky, the latter also directing set out to make a 90’s like comedy that delivers with the laughs, while making you glad you are not the characters on the screen. Things get off to a good start with their vision, but unfortunately the scenes they put in the trailers are most of what they have to generate laughs. Lawrence is brilliant and as great of an actor she is, you would love to see her do more films like this. As for the rest of the cast, Feldman holds his own with Lawrence, but every other character is pretty forgettable and add nothing to the story.

             I had high hopes for No Hard Feelings, but it never lives up to some of those 90’s comedy classics it was trying to replicate. It also feels indecisive as its first act it wants to be a raunchy comedy, while trying shift too hard to be more tender in its final act. The unevenness isn’t just with the tone, but also in the story as it feels like Stupnitsky and Phillips didn’t really know how to connect all the pieces nor how to end the film and instead settled for the usual break-up to make-up scenario. For all that is wrong though, it does give Lawrence a vehicle to show off her comedic skills, something she does so perfectly. Unfortunately we are not having the good time she is having and when it is all over we are left with more regrets over lost time, than laughs.

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