Jennifer Lawrence takes another crack at the comedy movie with this rather silly attempt.
Lawrence plays a down-on-her luck bartender who has never left her hometown living in the house she grew up in left to her by her mother. The movie starts with a screaming match on her own drive as an ex comes to reposes her car, the car she needs to make her living as an uber driver during the busy summer season.
In her search for a car to replace her own and to secure the income for the season and so pay off her tax bill she comes across an online ad for a Buick, but there’s a catch. Whoever aspires for the car pays for it in a rather unusual way, dating the owners son and dating him well!
The story is bordering on illegal, well lets face it, is and the first twenty minutes or so are a bit of a hard watchas we get to know Maddie (Lawrence). However, we do catch a lot of subplots in the movie that pay off later. She’s on the wrong side of thirty; played things safe; and now that’s starting to burn her a bit.
Maddie is a local in an upscale coastal town that is being overrun by wealthy seasonal tourists. She’s suffered, so you know when she takes the offer to “date” this boy, it is going to get rocky for her in the end.
Andrew Barth Feldman plays Percy. The inexperienced nineteen-year-old who is on his way to Princeton in the fall. In any other comedy, Percy’s dilemma would strictly be about him losing his virginity, but this movie wants the audience to focus more on his loss of interest in the outside world. He’s a good kid, but he seems cut off from connection and doesn’t seem to welcome change, being addicted as is the case with the young in most places to life online, glues to his phone and his online “friends” rather than trying to get along with anyone in real life.
Feldman plays the character well and matches Lawrence’s unfiltered energy. The two get caught in absurd comedic moments together and then bring it down to earth with some well done tender moments together.
The film does give us great set pieces for a summer comedy. For one, there is the skinny-dipping scene, where Jennifer Lawrence does seem to bare it all as she chases down a gang of drunk rich kids who try to steal their clothes. Feldman gets naked on the hood of a car in a chase scene with the cops, but as quickly as the film walks into over-the-top crude humor, it delivers on the wholesomeness of its characters.
Maddie is a hurt little girl inside from her father leaving her and her mother behind. Percy is an awkward teenager, but he’s also very talented. His rendition of “Maneater” by Hall and Oates on the piano is one of the most memorable parts of the film (and there arent that many to come accross as this thing does strugle).
No Hard Feelings is a bit of a roller coaster of a movie, but it just about manages to keep it together so you stay engaged. The humor isn’t the laugh out loud you want it to be but it managed just to keep it going so you dont switch off.
Lawrence isn’t a physical comic genius, but she tries her best with what she is given, but does ham it up for instance in the pepper spray scene. All in all if you just want something slightly adult in nature due to the subject matter and the fact lawrence seemed to want to get naked at points then by all means give this one a go. The ending is a bit expected, the acting not that good, the jokes, well just about a joke. Overall if you have a bit of time to kill give it a go, otherwise you might want to try something else.
Lets hope that Jennifer Lawrence returns to grace and that the no doubt losses of this one dont hinder her like others have.