FILM REVIEW: No Hard Feelings
A refreshing throwback to the gross-out ranch-coms of the '90s and '00s
No Hard Feelings stars Jennifer Lawrence as Maddie, a young woman who, in need of a car, accepts a job that offers a car as payment. The job: to 'date' shy 19-year-old Percy to bring him out of his shell before he heads off to college. And by 'date', they mean everything that goes with it...
A throwback to the gross-out raunch-coms of the '90s and '00s, No Hard Feelings is wildly inappropriate in its set-up alone, and it’s so refreshing to see. The film is not always laugh-out-loud funny in its dialogue and sometimes busies itself with themes of generational difference that, oddly enough given the plot, feel like they come out of nowhere, but it has a good amount of slapstick and cringe comedy to garner some belly laughs.
Even when the film isn’t at its funniest, the characters are amusing and endearing. Jennifer Lawrence as Maddie and Andrew Barth Feldman as Percy have great chemistry because of how little chemistry they have, she with her ‘zero shits given’ attitude and he with his unascertainable awkwardness in any social setting, let alone on a date with a woman over a decade his senior (Feldman is a true star whenever he must be seduced by Lawrence). The leads aside, the supporting cast are funny too, Scott MacArthur often stealing the scene in his minuscule role as Maddie’s friend’s boyfriend, and Matthew Broderick and Laura Benanti playing the overly doting, yet convincing, parents who rope young Percy into this scenario without his knowledge.
It won’t be this generation’s American Pie, but No Hard Feelings harkens back to the comedies of that era that do not get made nowadays. And it is good to see them again.