Home Reviews Films Movie Review: NO HARD FEELINGS (2023): Jennifer Lawrence’s Raunchy Comedy Starts Strong But Loses Its Way

Movie Review: NO HARD FEELINGS (2023): Jennifer Lawrence’s Raunchy Comedy Starts Strong But Loses Its Way

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Movie Review: NO HARD FEELINGS (2023): Jennifer Lawrence’s Raunchy Comedy Starts Strong But Loses Its Way

Andrew Barth Feldman Jennifer Lawrence has no hard feelings

No hard feelings review

No Hard Feelings (2023) Movie reviewor movie run by Gene Stupnitskywritten by John Phillips AND FIND Stupnitsky and playing Jennifer Lawrence, Andrew Barth Feldman, Laura Benanti, Matthew Broderick, Natalie Morales, Scott MacArthur, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Kyle Mooney, Hasan Minhaj, Jordan Mendoza, Amalia Yoo, Alysia Joy Powell, Quincy Dunn-Baker, Matthew Noszka, Zahn McClarnon, Christian Galvis AND Matt Walton.

The Farrelly Brothers set the standard for a successful “R-rated” comedy in 1998 with the excellent comedy There is something about Mary. Cameron Diaz was great playing the lead role in that wild comedy that never became so sensitive that the audience forgot they were watching a snarky comedy. Jennifer Lawrence is apparently trying to replicate the success of that Farrelly Brothers masterpiece with her role as Maddie Barker in Gene Stupnitsky’s There are no hard feelings. For nearly an hour, Stupnitsky’s film is on the level of the best of The Farrelly Brothers’ work until the new picture becomes uncomfortable with a dirty sentimentality.

Lawrence has a field day playing Maddie, whose car is being towed by a disgruntled ex-lover (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) as the film opens. Maddie tries to reassure her ex, but a man (Christina Galvis) appears to prove that Maddie isn’t wasting time wallowing in some lost boyfriend. Maddie is an Uber driver and depends on her car to earn the money she so desperately needs to pay the taxes on the house her mother left her. Fearful of losing her home, Maddie answers an ad placed by a wealthy couple, Laird and Allison Becker (Matthew Broderick and Laura Benanti). This ad promises a Buick to the woman who can “meet” Laird and Allison’s college-bound teenage son, Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman). “Meet her hard,” Laird tells Maddie after giving her the job after a brief hesitation about Maddie’s somewhat older age.

Maddie goes to see Percy, who spends time working for a dog kennel, and hilariously moves the sofa forward during an interview with him. Maddie wants to seduce her which is easier said than done. In a hilarious moment, Maddie asks to see Percy’s “weiner.” His dog, that is, of course. Funny stuff, really. Percy is uptight and not quite ready to dive into any kind of physical intimacy with a woman he barely knows, so if Maddie wants that car, she’ll have her work cut out for her and Percy down. in bed, she will have to work. overtime. And, that she does a lot.

Jennifer Lawrence takes it all in a hysterically funny scene where she aggressively deals with some people who steal Maddie and Percy’s clothes when they end up diving at the beach together. A nude scene like this is a Hollywood rarity, and to Lawrence’s credit, it makes for a very fun sequence to watch. Before that, Percy sprays poor Maddie with mace and that also makes for more laughs and each scenario that happens gets weirder and weirder than the last. This feels like Farrelly Brothers territory and it succeeds for a bit. Percy begins to like Maddie and then the mechanics of the plot take over, as does the syrupy sentimentality and many of the points that Stupnitsky intended to get lost in the syrup.

It seems Maddie is desperate and will do whatever it takes to keep her house even if it means selling. Lawrence captures that desperation as she takes up riding spinning blades and even skates up the stairs to her job interview in a funny bit. Stupnitsky loses her despair and turns it into a sentimental wreck as the plot unfolds. It’s a character transformation well done by Lawrence, but not what comedy fans might hope for.

The supporting cast is mostly good. Natalie Morales as Maddie’s best friend has some truly inspired moments as does Scott MacArthur as the friend’s husband. Matthew Broderick is okay in a turn that could have been more. Andrew Barth Feldman does everything right in his performance as the guy who was going to college, but he can change as a person thanks to his interaction with Maddie. Percy believes that Maddie really likes him, and although the plot makes him love her, a better comedy would have started with the premise that this is just business for Maddie.

There are no hard feelings it’s really funny for a lot of the opening parts of the movie. It’s fun to watch Lawrence go through her comedic rhythms. When we signed up for The Farrelly Brothers’ There is something about Mary, we got the best and, at times, a cynical comedy that ultimately made viewers love every minute of it. Think of the jerk played by Matt Dillon, think of the chainsaw scene, remember the hair gel scene? This was “R-rated” comedy greatness. There are no hard feelings it has too much goodness in its heart to run with the material it initially presents and it’s a shame. Jennifer Lawrence is always trying new things, though, and she has a good rapport with Feldman that makes both characters likeable. Too bad they weren’t in another movie or what this one promised to be in the beginning. It’s a close call, but it’s only worth seeing if you can handle the disappointment that comes along with the sex jokes.

ASSESSMENT: 6.5/10

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