Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman) isn’t your normal 19-year-old. He locks himself away in his room, plays the piano for no one else to hear, games and watches endless hours of videos on tik tok. While other 19-year-olds are partying and enjoying their summer in the beachside town of Montauk on Long Island.
He didn’t have a great time in high school and decided that if he keeps himself locked away he can’t be noticed. But his parents are concerned he won’t enjoy his full University experience unless he comes out of his shell. So, as a last resort, they hire Maddie (Jennifer Lawrence).
Maddie isn’t having a whole lot of luck. Her car has been repossessed, she’s behind in property taxes and the reality of losing the house is close. With no parents to fall back on, and no car to Uber drive at night Maddie decides to answer a peculiar ad. The job is to “date” a 19-year-old and the payment is a car.
Percy’s parents set the deal in motion. Maddie must pretend to meet and date Percy and once they consummate, the car is hers.
Maddie has her work cut out for her as Percy is a tough nut to crack. But with persistence, Maddie gets through. Only after all their time together, Percy develops strong feelings for her.
Those feelings don’t matter when Percy accidentally gets wind of the plan and puts a stop to it all and destroys the car Maddie just had signed over to her.
The biggest issue with this film is that a great deal of the laugh-out-loud moments are shown in the many trailers. But somehow, they’re still funny to see as they fit into the larger picture. That kind of slapstick humour is maintained in the first and second acts.
What you find in the final act is a very different and wholesome journey. It becomes a story of a beautiful friendship blossoming over a beach summer.
While Lawrence gives a great performance, she very much flexes her comedic muscle for the knockout. It’s Feldman who steals the show. The depth he built into his character is that of a seasoned actor. His ability to bring comedy into someone so full of emotion brings the character off the screen and into this persona of someone you might actually know.
No Hard Feelings comes from Writer and Director Gene Stupnitsky. He is the genius behind the 2019 hit Good Boys and The Office and Bad Teacher. He knows how to get the audience laughing and doesn’t mind pushing the line out a bit further. Just to see how far he can go without going over it.
Overall, No Hard Feelings will certainly get you laughing. And if that doesn’t happen you’ll certainly find yourself smiling by the end. It’s a beautiful coming-of-age, summer fling rolled out to a true friendship. It’s a shame the good bits were in the trailer and there are a few plot holes, but aside from that it’s worthy of your time.
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