No Hard feelings review: No hard win

No Hard Feelings is a film from Director Gene Stupintsky (Good Boys). It manages to be both laugh-out-loud funny, and utterly desperate. It’s the first movie of a comedy package that Sony beat Netflix, Apple and a few other studios for. And is produced by Lawrence, Alex Saks, Marc Provissiero, Naomi Odenkirk, and Justine Polsky. It certainly felt like a product.

Starring Jennifer Lawrence as unlikable Maddie and Andrew Barth Feldman as ‘awkward’ Percy, it rehashes so many tropes from the 90s I was left wondering why they even bothered. It also stars Laura Benanti and Matthew Broderick, as parents who want to whore out their son because ‘he’s going to college, he needs to be ready’. And that’s the plot.

No hard feelings maddie looking through a broken door

Maddie is hired, through Craig’s List, to act as Percy’s first girlfriend. She’s supposed to shag him, so he loses his virginity before going to college. I mean, this has been done before so I can’t complain about that. Actually, I really can. You see, Percy is 19, just. And Maddie is… 32. Now think about that for a second. A 13 year age gap at that age is… Well, rather frigging problematic. If you switched that around, there would be quite a lot of noise.

Here’s a quick review in video

Awkward!

As mentioned, Maddie is hired to shag poor ‘awkward’ Percy. She isn’t a hooker though! She makes clear when first meeting his parents. She’s only going to bone him for a car. Which is not the same as selling one’s body for monetary reward. No sir. So that is the main rub. She then spends the majority of the movie making Percy do things outside his comfort zone. Because he’s ‘awkward’. I keep putting those inverted commas around awkward because he seems to go from ‘awkward’ to not ‘awkward’ pretty damn quickly. To be fair, they do spend a bit of time explaining that Maddie is a commitment phobe because of her childhood. But it doesn’t stop her from coming across as quite a mean-spirited person for most of the movie. Very odd that such an accredited actress would choose such a shallow and forgettable character.

no hard feelings percy and maddie

Of course he does

For the fist third of the film, I was laughing out loud. As was the cinema. I was happy that everyone was having a blast because there’s nothing quite like that shared fun feeling. Sure, it was generic as all hell. Nothing was new. I mean that. Absolutely nothing was new… Hang on wait a second Jennifer Lawrence has just gone full frontal nude! Yes, you see her entire body, naked. Not in a sexy ‘I am finally going to steal this poor kids virginity’ way but in a ‘We were skinny dipping, some kids stole our clothes, now I am crotch punching them while nude to get my clothes back’ way.

I certainly picked up on the nervous and quite surprised laughter from the audience. Sadly this stunt, and it reeked of stunt/desperation, was completely unnecessary. It really felt like a sales hook. Go watch No Hard Feelings, Jennifer gets her kit off! To be fair(ish) Percy also gets butt naked while hanging onto a car.

It has funny bits

As mentioned, the first third of the movie is actually funny, and I laughed hard. It almost makes up for the totally unoriginal story. But then it becomes a bit more cynical in the middle. With Maddie’s own daddy issues making her cause harm to Percy. She becomes quite unlikable, and not in a reflective or role reversal sort of manner. And of course, Percy falls in love with her. By the time the ending lands, and my god what a cliché, I was just about done. Luckily the film is only an hour and a half.

No Hard Feelings seems to lack any feelings at all. It’s a generic romcom that has quite a lot of cynicism woven throughout. Sadly this movie will only be remembered as the one where Lawrence gets fully naked. I honestly don’t know what she was thinking.

This gets a…

6/10

 | Website

All the series and all the movies couldn't put society back together again.