The Teen Sex Comedy Is Back

Jennifer Lawrence, Andrew Barth Feldman pair well in flick offering 'new twists' to the genre
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2023 11:32 AM CDT

Jennifer Lawrence says she's never read a funnier screenplay than the one for No Hard Feelings, Gene Stupnitsky's new R-rated comedy in which she stars as a broke woman who agrees to date an awkward and naive 19-year-old piano prodigy (Andrew Barth Feldman's character, Percy) in exchange for a car. While audiences are laughing along with the actor-producer, giving the film an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, critics are more restrained with a 67% rating. Here's what they're saying:

  • The film is "uneven," with Lawrence "trying a bit too hard to be vulgar and instead merely coming across as abrasive." But it has "a solid comic foundation" and "devises some smart new twists for the teen sex comedy while expertly counterbalancing Mr. Feldman's doe-eyed innocence with Ms. Lawrence's vamping," writes Kyle Smith at the Wall Street Journal.
  • For Amanda Luberto at the Austin Chronicle, Lawrence "finally gets an opportunity to show off her comedic chops and her biting humor and executes it." Feldman's Percy assists, with his "shaky vulnerability, earnest adoration, and genuine tenderness, playing well against Lawrence's jaded, guarded, and determined Maddie." The film as a whole—"bold, surprising, and uproarious, especially with its use of nudity"—ultimately serves as "a breath of fresh air."

  • "No Hard Feelings isn't a great movie, not even a very good one—but it ambles along with frictionless ease, mostly thanks to the low-key naturalism of its stars," writes Ann Hornaday at the Washington Post. Lawrence "exudes authenticity and warmth that are hard to resist." But "even more appealing is Feldman, who delivers an adroit breakout performance" in a film that "consistently pulls back from its ickiest plot points to reveal the wholesome heart at its center."
  • "Big-screen comedies are dishearteningly few and far between these days, so it's temping to applaud that No Hard Feelings ... simply exists," writes Jake Coyle at the AP. It's not perfect, but allows Lawrence to "showcase her talent at upending traditional ideas of Hollywood glamor," including through "a beach brawl in the nude." Meanwhile, Feldman "brings more sensitivity to the role than you would expect, and flashes of good comic timing."
(More movie review stories.)

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