No Hard Feelings Review: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ : It’s rare to see comedies in theatres nowadays; studios seem more confident in taking their investments to stream instead, especially something like this. This trend looks to be spreading with just about every genre as well, and it begs the question if we’ll ever see certain stories back on the big screen.
No Hard Feelings is a fun, raunchy comedy that should be welcomed with open arms. It’s not only different from the usual franchise films that hit the theatre market, but it also offers a grounded story with honest characters.
Maddie (Jennifer Lawrence), is in her early thirties and struggling to pay her taxes. She works as an Uber driver and bartender, neither of which seem to make ends meet. Her luck gets worse when her car is repossessed by her ex-Gary (Ebon-Moss Bachrach). With her life crumbling before her, and her mother’s house next to be taken, she resorts to Craigslist to find a new car. Maddie discovers an odd post offering a Buick, in return for dating a helicopter couple’s son Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman).
Not only date, but to have sex with him, before he heads off to Princeton University. Percy is a shy, introverted teen, and though Maddie accepts the gig, she soon realizes it’s not as easy as she planned it to be.
Challenge aside, Maddie and Percy slowly begin to ease into each other and form a bond. The film often plays it safe with its direction, but the chemistry between Lawrence and Feldman keeps it moving smoothly in a funny yet dramatic way. Percy’s obedience and maturity are the exact opposite of Maddie’s energy and confidence. Both teach each other valuable lessons; Maddie learns to take things slow with her future and to let go of her traumatic past. At the same time, Percy comes out of his shell and sees what life has to offer him outside of his parents’ bubble. There’s a line towards the end where they are uncertain about where their paths may take them, but regardless, they’ll be ok.
Age gap aside, there’s a generational connection that may be one of the film’s themes. Even if the two characters are at different stages of life, the pressures and uncertainties stay the same. Audiences will have no problem rooting for Maddie and Percy, no matter their age group.
The Verdict – No Hard Feelings Review
As I said, the direction of No Hard Feelings plays it safe and it’s often predictable where it’s headed. But in a story like this, it was probably the right move. You can expect flawed characters, laughs, absurd bits, and a satisfying ending for Maddie and Percy.