No Hard Feelings

No Hard Feelings is an American sex comedy film directed by Gene Stupnitsky from a screenplay he co-wrote with John Phillips. It stars Jennifer Lawrence (who also produces) as a 32-year-old Uber driver who answers an ad to date a shy 19-year-old (played by Andrew Barth Feldman) in order to boost his confidence prior to college. Laura Benanti, Natalie Morales, and Matthew Broderick co-star. (Wikipedia)


Maddie Barker (Lawrence) is the protagonist of No Hard Feelings and right from the opening of the movie, it is made clear that she has many major issues. The first scene has her ex-boyfriend towing her car away due to her debt problems, and it is strongly hinted that she ‘sleeps around’. So the set-up is that she has financial problems she has to solve in order to save her house from the taxman and as an uber driver, the repossession of her car is a major hinderance, of course.

Then, along comes an ad in Craigslist that requires Maddie to initiate a 19-year-old virgin (Percy) in the ways of sex. In exchange, Percy’s parents will give Maddie a car. Awfully convenient, don’t you think? Seems straightforward too, right? How difficult would it be for a beautiful woman (which Maddie is) to seduce a teenage boy? Not much tension and conflict from that premise, right?

But hold on to your cynicism as Percy proves to be a strange Gen-Z teenager in order to give Maddie’s goal in No Hard Feelings a challenge. So basically we are led to believe that Percy is an anxious nerd unable to cope with the world – spoilt and coddled by his parents – and thus is terrorised by Maddie’s blatant in-your-face sexuality. The suspension of disbelief is almost impossible to maintain. No matter how much of a geek Percy might be, surely, any teenage boy would jump at the chance to bang Maddie, no?

By the third act, No Hard Feelings falls flat completely with a tepid resolution, lacking a climatic sequence, the audience will lose interest long before Percy finds out about Maddie’s deal with his parents. The only thing that makes this ridiculous movie watchable is Lawrence, of course. The lengths she goes to shock the audience – including an extended scene where she attacks a group of teenagers in the buff – is weirdly enthralling. Never mind that if gender roles were switched in this story, social media would be up in arms!

In the final analysis, No Hard Feelings is a pathetic disappointment. Ignore.

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