On the brink of losing her childhood home, a desperate woman agrees to date a wealthy couple's introverted and awkward 19-year-old son. However, he proves to be more of a challenge than she expected, and time is running out before she loses it all. The R Rated Sony comedy, No Hard Feelings, Directed by Gene Stupnitsky, stars Jennifer Lawrence as Maddie and Andrew Barth Feldman as her target, Percy.
Going in, I had high hopes for this movie. Seeing Jennifer return with such a raunchy, American Pie-style comedy, was interesting to me. Unfortunately, the best jokes were already given to us in the trailer. I found the movie charming and for the first time routing for a friendship that could or could not include benefits because the two main characters have a special bond that was extremely complicated, immature, and awkward, yet necessary for them both. There was no need for a romance but if one blossomed it could have worked in the end. Beyond that, the movie became more and more predictable. I felt like I've seen these types of jokes so many times in the late 90's and Early 2000's. Nothing really surprised me, even what was meant to be the most shocking scene in the film with Jennifer Lawrence at the beach. It just came off as visual clickbait.
Of course, when you have a talent like Lawrence, the best moments "For Me" were when her character let her guard down. The Oscar winner shined through and really began to tug at the heartstrings. Feldman's vulnerability was magnetic, every scene with them in the tug-of-war manner was the best part of the movie. All the other characters were the ones written in a typical rom-com. From Maddie's friends to Percy's parents. Nothing really extraordinary there but great supporting roles and performances altogether. Overall solid.
Overall cinematography was well done during the day, capturing the beauty of the vacation spot plagued by rich out-of-towners taking over the area. There were some questionable edits in the aforementioned beach scene where you could tell the director and editor were doing their best to prevent the movie from going from an R to full-on NC-17 that took me out of the movie a bit but not enough to downgrade the movie completely. Just a questionable moment or two, nothing major.
Where the film succeeded was how the story blossomed into something unique that started out from deception and could have turned into a disaster. What surprised me was how some of the best performances were given by Andrew Barth Feldman, who went toe-to-toe with the great Jennifer Lawrence and arguably carried the film just as good if not better than Lawrance in some scenes. Through and through when Lawrence turned on the emotional side of her character it was some of her best work.
Unfortunately, I can not recommend this movie. It's worth seeing at home and really felt more like a direct-to-streaming movie than anything that would go to theaters. It paid like it would have been a brilliant series instead of a movie at some points. It works great as a date night film and would have done better to be released before the summer closer to February than June, in my opinion. If you are a fan of movies like Can't Buy Me Love then you will get enjoyment from this film.
For Me, No Hard Feelings gets a C-