No Hard Feelings – Movie Review

He’s all that

What’s it about?

On the brink of losing her childhood home, a desperate woman agrees to date a wealthy couple’s introverted and awkward 19-year-old son.

What’d we think?

Pete Linning says: The heyday of the raunchy sex comedy is long passed, with most recent forays into the genre being more of an exercise in gross-out humour that pushes the limits of the classification board than a comedy that earns its mature rating. I had low expectations going into No Hard Feelings, but will happily admit I was pleasantly surprised – the setup is simple, the characters are likeable, and it’s well-written enough that the humour is derived from the dialogue instead of from bodily fluids.

There’s a nice element of class conflict at play that makes Jennifer Lawrence’s Maddy inherently sympathetic despite her surface-level shittiness, and while she might be mean, she never veers into cartoonish levels of dirtbaggery. Especially good is Andrew Barth Feldman’s Percy, who could easily have been written as the played-out basement-dwelling nerd trope, but instead feels like a pleasant, kind, albeit believably awkward young man who his perfectly valid reasons for being insular.

It’s nothing spectacular, but it’s frequently very funny, has a few moments that approach being genuinely heartwarming (but sensibly errs on the side of caution in these moments) and ends up being a solid and straightforward coming-of-age type movie that doesn’t rely on toilet humour for its laughs.

Anthony Sherratt says: After a trailer that looked all sorts of problematic, No Hard Feelings was a surprisingly enjoyable film. It wasn’t as cringy as it first appeared and nor were the characters exaggerated stereotypes. Instead we got some heartfelt moments of people being people and even some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments. You understand and connected with the characters without judgement or dismissal and even Lawrence’s character’s directness wasn’t off-putting.

It’s not a movie that will live long in the memory or demand rewatches, but it was an entertaining film.

A pleasant surprise with a few solid laughs and solid performances all around.
A raconteur by nature and motormouth by trade, the only thing Pete loves more than watching movies is a good debate about movies. He'll argue with anyone about anything, and enjoy it more than is socially acceptable.
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