No Hard Feelings Will Give you Weird Feelings
A new comedy release of 2023 called No Hard Feelings starring Jennifer Lawrence and Andrew Feldman hit the theaters back in June this past summer. It has had enormous success at the box offices and was recently added to Netflix as well. The film, being incredibly humorous, follows a woman named Maddie who has lived her whole life in the beach town of Montauk NY and a boy named Percy who just graduated high school and vacations in Montauk during the summer. These two delightful characters find themselves in each other's lives when Maddie agrees to ‘date’ Percy because his parents asked her to in exchange for a car. The entire premise of the film had me laughing throughout.
Although the film offered lots of humor, sentimental moments, and brought out high emotion, I was unsettled by the age difference of the two main characters. Maddy, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is 32, while Percy, played by Andrew Feldman, was only 19. It made me wonder how a film like this would go over, were the gender roles switched. I do not think the media and reviewers would be giving this film much praise but rather scorn. Having the two characters closer in age would have been more acceptable and realistic.
The character Percy was said to be an intelligent student accepted into a prestigious college. His character did not seem to live up to this ‘level of intelligence’ he was meant to have. Percy was being tricked and deceived so easily by his parents and Maddy seemed almost forced and did not feel accurate when watching the film. Granted if Percy were not proclaimed to be this man of ‘high intelligence’ it would have been a better fit. Often in comedies the awkward teenage boy who has never had any girlfriends is portrayed as nerdy and being very school smart. For this film, that persona was not necessarily the right call. I think Percy's character should have been more of a lazy teen who spends his days playing video games and is very anti-social, rather than a teen who studies hard, gets good grades, and volunteers at the animal shelter.
What also interested me about this film was the actor who plays Percy, Andrew Feldman. Andrew was a Harvard University student when he landed this role, his first significant role. His past roles included a Broadway musical and a small role on the tv series 'High School Musical.’ Jennifer Lawrence was taking a break from acting but was lured back by the script of No Hard Feelings. She fell in love with the film and decided to come back and do the film. I find it ironic that the two leads of this film could not be more different. Jennifer Lawrence has been a success in Hollywood since she was a teenager while not even graduating high school, and Andrew Feldman has had barely any acting experience and is extremely educated attending one of the top universities in America. I find it quite amazing that two actors with such diverse backgrounds and life experiences were able to create such a funny and heartwarming film.
Isabelle Babcock regularly reviews movies and television shows on her own site. For more of her work, visit https://ibabcock.wixsite.com/the-reel-review.