I am generally not a big fan of comedies and tend to avoid them especially if they also happen to be slapstick. Nothing can be more uncomfortable to watch than a supposedly comedy that fails to be funny or when jokes are geared towards making fun of other people. No Hard Feelings is an exception for me partly because of the lack of anything interesting that is new at the moment, and partly because I do like Jennifer Lawrence and haven’t seen her in anything new for awhile.
The first impression when I saw Jennifer appear on screen here was that she has aged and can no longer play the role of young impressionable females. To her credit she takes the brunt of this reality in her stride as her age becomes like a running joke. She plays a down and out woman who is struggling to make ends meet. She gets an opportunity to earn some money by answering an ad placed by a wealthy couple seeking someone to date and bring their introverted 19 years old son out of his shell. The plot follows a predictable path leading to a foregone conclusion. Nevertheless, it is to the film makers’ credit that they still manage to yes, I admit it here, make me laugh! Jennifer Lawrence has impeccable sense of humour and really makes her character come out as someone who we can identify with. She is paired well with younger actor Andrew Barth Feldman as the nerdy kid who naturally falls for her against the odds. As with all such “romantic” comedies, we have the contrasting bittersweet moments, and I thought both Jennifer and Andrew nailed it with their performances, handling the funny as well as sentimental moments very well.
Special mention to an older matured looking Matthew Broderick who made his name acting in the teen comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, in a supporting role as the father to the kid. I could not recognise him and he gave a nice performance using subtle humor. It was also a relief to see the film devoid of any secondary objectives to promote a woke culture which is so common these days. No gay friend, or the coloured neighbour, or a mixed couple in sight! That felt like a breath of fresh air. Despite its R rating, the film does not resort to crude and vulgar sex jokes, nor see the need to utter profanities all over the place. Although, I should add here that we do get to see a very naked Jennifer Lawrence!
No Hard Feelings is a comedy with a simple premise, and it made me laugh which means it succeeded in its objective. The film’s title initially seems a bit unremarkable and even forgettable. However, after watching the movie, I am beginning to see a rather naughty “hidden meaning” and joke behind it, so it’s all good.