No Hard Feelings (2023) Movie Review: A Comedy with Heart

No Hard Feelings, a 2023 sex comedy starring Jennifer Lawrence, takes viewers on a wild ride filled with laughter, awkward encounters, and unexpected connections. Lawrence shines as Maddie Barker, a down-on-her-luck bartender facing financial ruin. Desperate to save her inherited home, she takes on a bizarre Craigslist job: romancing the awkward and inexperienced 19-year-old son, Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman), of a wealthy couple (Laura Benanti and Matthew Broderick).

The premise, dreamed up by writers Gene Stupnitsky and John Phillips, is outrageous, filled with cringe-worthy moments as Maddie attempts to “break Percy out of his shell.” Skinny dipping gone wrong, car chases in the nude, and hilarious misunderstandings all contribute to the film’s comedic core. However, No Hard Feelings transcends pure slapstick. As Maddie and Percy spend time together, a genuine friendship develops. They share vulnerabilities, discover common ground, and even recreate a missed prom night in a touching scene.

The film’s strength lies in its central performances. Lawrence is captivating, bringing both comedic flair and surprising depth to Maddie. Feldman perfectly embodies the awkward charm of Percy, making him endearing despite his initial social anxieties. Their chemistry is undeniable, creating a heartwarming connection that grounds the film’s humor.

No Hard Feelings isn’t without flaws. The age difference between Maddie and Percy might raise eyebrows for some viewers. The story also takes a sharp turn near the end, transitioning from lighthearted rom-com chaos to a more sentimental exploration of Maddie’s own desires and future. This tonal shift, steered by Stupnitsky and Phillips, may not resonate with everyone.

Despite these points, No Hard Feelings is a delightful surprise. If you’re looking for a laugh-out-loud comedy with a surprising touch of heart, this film is worth checking out. Just be prepared for a genre-bending twist that adds an unexpected layer to the hilarious chaos.

Verdict: See it for Lawrence and Feldman’s hilarious performances and stay for the surprisingly sweet exploration of friendship and self-discovery.