‘No Hard Feelings’ movie review: Jennifer Lawrence’s sex comedy is vanilla with a hint of raunchy 

Though there is nothing to laugh at about a 32-year-old woman seducing a 19-year-old man, on the orders of his parents, Jennifer Lawrence manages to make it work 

Updated - June 26, 2023 01:29 pm IST

Published - June 26, 2023 12:02 pm IST

Jennifer Lawrence in a scene from ‘No Hard Feelings’

Jennifer Lawrence in a scene from ‘No Hard Feelings’ | Photo Credit: Macall Polay

It is great fun to see Jennifer Lawrence’s comic side. The Academy Award-winning Lawrence grabs one’s eye and keeps it as Maddie, the 32-year-old woman still trying to figure her life out. Maddie is dealing with multiple issues including being the result of an affair and promptly being abandoned by her wealthy father, and losing her mum. Having lived all her life in the small, seaside town of Montauk, Maddie has a chip on her shoulder about all the outsiders who vacation there, driving the property prices sky high. 

No Hard Feelings (English)
Director: Gene Stupnitsky
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Andrew Barth Feldman, Laura Benanti, Natalie Morales, Matthew Broderick
Run-time: 103 minutes
Storyline: A broke woman accepts an odd commission from parents who want help to get their shy son out of his cocoon

Maddie is an Uber driver and works part time at the bar. When her car is repossessed for not paying property taxes on the house her mother left her, Maddie is driven to desperation. Into this scenario of a car-less Uber driver, comes a weird listing. Laird (Matthew Broderick) and Allison (Laura Benanti) are offering their Buick to any woman who can date their reclusive 19-year-old son, Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman), and make him ready to take on the world and Princeton.

Also Read: Jennifer Lawrence says comedy ‘No Hard Feelings’ lured her back to acting

Maddie takes up the offer and after hiccups including skinny-dipping in the sea, which Percy nervously recognises as the opening scene of Jaws, and some nasty people stealing their clothes, there is genuine affection and caring between Maddie and Percy.

All the rom-com staples, except for mad dash to the airport, are there. There is pregnant best friend Sarah (Natalie Morales), her dim-witted surfer husband, Jim (Scott MacArthur), an OTT nanny, Jody (Kyle Mooney), an oily real estate agent, Doug Khan  (Hasan Minhaj), a loser former boyfriend, Gary (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), and a cocaine-addicted retired police dog. It is amazing to see Matthew Broderick after forever.

There have been controversies around this movie for promoting sexual grooming and the abuse of men. The argument is that if the roles were reversed and a 32-year-old man was paid by a 19-year-old girl’s parents to seduce her, the film would not even have got made. The cast and crew have argued that the premise is intentionally icky and not in any way condoning sexual harassment.

Be that as it may, if you are fed up with superhero films and just want some little laughs, No Hard Feelings, which plays super safe for a sex comedy, is just the medicine, as Lawrence makes patently silly scenes work with buckets of flair.

No Hard Feelings is currently running in theatres

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