No Hard Feelings is a new gross-out comedy starring Jennifer Lawerence. The tagline for the movie is “Pretty. Awkward”, which is what this review will be.
The movie stars Lawrence and… you know what, it doesn’t really matter. There are a couple of other famous faces, but this is a Jennifer Lawrence movie, everyone else is there to make her look good. The story is:
On the brink of losing her home, Maddie finds an intriguing job listing: helicopter parents looking for someone to bring their introverted 19-year-old son out of his shell before college. She has one summer to make him a man or die trying.
Basically, Maddie, played by Lawrence, needs money to get her car back and the listing by the parents says she’ll get a car if “she makes him a man”. Yes, the main premise of the story is watching a 32-year-old woman trying to take the virginity of a 19-year-old boy.
All the way through the movie, I kept thinking how acceptable it would be if it was gender swapped and a 32-year-old guy was trying to bed a 19-year-old virgin girl. I guess things are fine one way, but not the other.
There’s not much left to the story as it turns into a rom-com. She’s trying to have sex with him, but he doesn’t want to. This is perfectly believable. By which I mean not at all. If a horny Jennifer Lawrence was all up in your face about having sex with you, I doubt even Billy Eisner could turn her down.
The kid, played by Andrew Barth Feldman, is a socially awkward nerd, who breaks out in hives at any sign of trouble. When they are going to actually do the deed the first time, she ends up putting cream on his hives instead. Hilarious.
There’s obviously a moment when the kid finds out about the plan by his parents and gets upset. Maddie tries to win him back since she’s fallen for him, blah blah blah. Standard rom-com stuff.
When I saw the trailer for this, it looked like a gross-out comedy, with swearing, knob/vagina gags, and one of those really gross moments, i.e. the pie from American Pie. No Hard Feelings had none of this, well, apart from the swearing.
There was the odd sex joke in there, but I didn’t see anything that made me laugh. In fact, there was nothing that even made me chuckle. It was exactly as you expect for a rom-com – two leads who don’t like each other take two hours to fall in love.
I’m not sure who this movie is aimed at, I’m guessing younger women. There isn’t a man alive who would 1) find this funny and 2) turn down the chance to bed Lawernce. So if it is aimed at women, the message seems to be “being a prostitute is OK”. I mean, Maddie’s character is basically sleeping with someone to get a car. That makes her a pro, right?
It’s not like her character was all that likable either. She is one-night stand material, but you wouldn’t want to hang around with her after that. She’s a bit of a bitch at times. I felt for Lawerence as she is a great actress and made some really great movies. Here in No Hard Feelings, she is slumming it. The whole thing felt a bit desperate.
Especially as she does an entire scene naked. She and the nerd go skinny dipping and teenagers try to steal their clothes. She walks out of the water and kicks their asses, totally butt naked. This again was a mixed message. Doesn’t Jennifer speak up about female empowerment and the non-sexualisation of women? Only to get her norks out for a laugh? A laugh that wasn’t even funny.
The scene is at 36 mins and 14 secs in and only lasts for 47 seconds, so you have to be quick.
No Hard Feelings was embarrassing for all concerned. It’s not funny, it’s not gross and it was sending the wrong kind of message to anyone watching it. You may find the odd joke funny, but honestly, I didn’t raise a smile once. It’s all standard stuff and exactly the same as about 90% of other rom-coms out there.
It gets 1.5 out of 5 stars for that one scene, but the rest of it you can skip. It is still in the cinemas and will be on streaming on 15th Aug, but don’t bother.
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