No Hard Feelings

No Hard Feelings

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A movie like No Hard Feelings seems to be made every ten years or so. A movie about a romance between a nerdy teenager and a really hot girl, often portrayed by Hollywood’s latest it-girl. There’s always a catch to the relationship. In The Girl Next Door the female character is a porn-star. In No Hard Feelings Jennifer Lawrence’s 32 year old character is paid to seduce and deflower an introvert teenager. Something so seemingly simple becomes a difficult assignment as she starts to actually care for him.

No Hard Feelings seems to be a bit of a weird choice for Academy Award winner Lawrence, who has become an A-list actress with 2012’s one-two punch of The Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook. A movie like this usually comes at the beginning of an actress’s career and functions as a launchpad to bigger things. If they’re lucky that is. Both Elisha Cuthbert (The Girl Next Door) and Hayden Panettiere (I Love You, Beth Cooper) didn’t have very prolific long term careers in the movie industry.

The biggest selling point of this movie is a nude scene by Lawrence. This is one of those movies that I didn’t hear about until its release and never even saw a trailer. But the buzz was all about how Lawrence did her first nude scene, in a movie that is.

As you might recall Lawrence was one of the main victims of the 2014 celebrity nude photo leak. She has veen very vocal about her stolen photos and one can’t help but think that this movie and her nude scene is therapeutic to her. Taking back control or something like that.

Her character Maddie is world weary. As we meet her, her car is being repossessed. She dated the tow truck driver, but ghosted him. She tries to use her female charms on him, but is failed in her attempt as her latest one night stand interrupts the scene.

It’s apparent that Maddie is not the relationship type and likes to get around. The movie doesn’t judge her for it or makes her a bad person. A breath of fresh air since movies usually tend to look down on promiscuous women.

In dire need of a car Maddie comes across a peculiar ad online. The wealthy helicopter parents of an introverted 19 year old are looking for someone to bring their kid out of his shell before he goes to college. The reward is a Buick. So Maddie decides to apply and is hired. One of the parents is played by Matthew Broderick. I never would have expected that Ferris Bueller himself would become a helicopter parent.

Their son Percy is a classic movie introvert. He can’t talk to girls, works in an animal shelter and stays in his room all day while at home. His hobbies are things like playing the piano. Hobbies you don’t need friends for. When Maddie comes on to him he totally misses the signals and even thinks that she’s trying to kidnap him.

Eventually she convinces him to go on a date together and they actually start to like each other. Though the movie is realistic in the way it handles this. Percy falls in love with Maddy, while Maddy feels just sorry for him as she’s never out for more than just fulfilling the job.

Most of the jokes allude to the age difference between Maddie and Percy. When she attends a high school party most of the humor comes from the generation gap. Despite being only 14 years older than Spence, Maddie is pretty out of touch with today’s woke kids.

You’ve probably seen this movie before. It’s another take on Shakespeare’s Taming of the shrew and it feels much in line with movies like She’s all that and 10 Things I hate about you. The movie follows all of the same beats: one person with ulterior motives seduces another. The person actually starts to care about the victim. The victim finds out about the ulterior motives. The finale has them reconcile in some way. No Hard Feelings follows that exact same approach and deserves 0 points for originality.

And yet it feels like a breath of fresh air. Lawrence displays her comedic chops and owns every scene she’s in. Her nude scene is not what you would expect and is one of the more surprising moments in the movie. Original R-rated comedies are rarely been given a theatrical release these days. Almost all of the movies that enter the cinemas today are based on existing IP’s or people. Movies that take a risk by being an original story with original characters should be nourished. Even though the story itself isn’t original.

No Hard Feelings is a fun and enjoyable movie that I will recommend watching instead of the latest CGI-fest hurled at you. I’d rather watch this again than the dreadful Little Mermaid live-action remake.

No Hard Feelings Poster
No Hard Feelings Poster
No Hard Feelings
  • Year:
  • Director:
    • Gene Stupnitsky
  • Cast:
    • Jennifer Lawrence
    • Andrew Barth Feldman
    • Laura Benanti
    • Matthew Broderick
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Romance
  • Running time:


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