Adult comedies have become scarce in the industry in recent times, especially good adult comedies. Seth Rogen made this genre very much his own and now that he’s not making too many himself, there haven’t been many candidates to step up and fill that vacancy. Gene Stupnitsky previously directed Good Boys (produced by Seth Rogen) and is no stranger to making comedies as he’s been working on comedies all his career. No Hard Feelings, Stupnitsky’s latest feature, stars Jennifer Lawrence as Maddie, a bartender who’s hired to date Percy (Andrew Berth Feldman), who is an extremely shy introvert.
This is Jennifer Lawrence’s first out-and-out comedy movie and she is hilarious. Her comic timing is really good and she doesn’t let it feel that she’s new to the genre at all. Her chemistry with Andrew Berth Feldman is also amazing. The two leads are the heart and soul of the story and the movie is strongest with both of them in the frame. Feldman also gives an impressive performance and also has moments where he steals the scene. The supporting cast does their jobs, but I have to say that Natalie Morales was really bad as Maddie’s best friend.
Writer-director Gene Stupnitsky uses as many puns and clever metaphors are he can and ensures that they consistently pop up in the narrative. The script is not amazingly well-rounded but has enough fresh ideas in it. One thing that bugged me was the weird camera angles and the overdose of close-up shots. It felt like they didn’t want to give the frame some room to breathe or add perspective with wider shots. The pacing of the movie was decent, but in the end, one may feel that it slightly overstays its welcome.
There are plenty of eyebrow-raising moments in the movie, with some aspects purposely crafted so as to make the viewer uncomfortable. But even in those moments you can’t help but enjoy all the madness that is going on on-screen. The narrative might be light on logic but feels the just right amount of over-the-top with some bland and some very bold moments that elevate the intensity. The background score is mediocre, but there is a song sequence around the halfway point which was very well done. There are also a nice amount of emotions in the story. They may arrive too late, but they still leave an impact.
Overall, No Hard Feelings is an outrageously raunchy adult comedy. Jennifer Lawrence gives an electric performance and proves her versatility once again. There are many cringy moments but somehow they manage to work. This movie will regularly raise eyebrows and make you laugh out loud. If you’re looking for a bold and refreshing summer comedy, this is the movie for you.
No Hard Feelings releases in theaters on June 23.