With You Hurt My Feelings, Nicole Holofcener crafts a funny, moving comedy about the lies we tell each other.
PLOT: A fragile author (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) in a seemingly idyllic marriage falls apart when she realizes that her husband (Tobias Menzies) dislikes her new book.
REVIEW: When you’re in a relationship, telling little white lies to spare your partner’s feelings is often necessary. It’s the same with any relationship. Honesty may not always be the best policy. Nicole Holofcener, writer and director of her latest film, You hurt My Feelings focuses on a marriage that is incredibly happy. She is a successful author, but not a lot of success. He is a psychiatrist who has a good deal of success. Holofcener tackles some interesting material. This year, Sundance was full of movies about men who fall apart when their power dynamics shift in a relationship. Holofcener takes the opposite approach. It’s a bit of a risk, but all the characters are very likable. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a master at character-based comedy, and Holfcener knows how to showcase her at her best. She’s a pro at character-based comedy, and Holfcener knows how to showcase her at her very best.
I also enjoyed Tobias Menzies as Louis-Dreyfus’s kind-hearted, shrink husband, Don (a far cry from his roles on
Outlander or The Crown). You hurt my feelings is a film that focuses on the theme of losing joy in work as you age. His character suffers from a crisis in confidence and is unable to help patients. David Cross and Amber Tamblyn play a bickering married couple who are only in agreement on one thing: that their psychiatrist is bad. He is also beginning to look older, as the fine lines on his face are becoming more pronounced. The movie is more interested in how to navigate a situation like this and how lying isn’t always a bad thing. The movie is more concerned with how to navigate a situation such as this and that lying isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Is he an actor? This is how relationships work. That’s just how it goes in relationships.You Hurt My Feelings
also tries to extend this perspective to parenting, with Beth proudly proclaiming her son (Owen Teague), who works at a dispensary, to be a genius, even though he neither wants nor needs her constant validation. The movie examines why Beth thinks lying to her son to spare his feelings is ok, but when her husband does it, it’s a great sin that threatens their happy relationship.
In the end, you can always trust that Holofcener will dig deeper into the dynamics of a relationship while maintaining an even hand. Her movies are great because she understands human interaction better than many directors. You hurt My Feelings
, while a modest film overall, is a feel good story that revolves around a cast of characters who are all likable, even though they have their quirks. Once again, Holofcener and Louis-Dreyfus are a good team (following EnoughSaid), and this should play to an appreciative audience when A24 releases it later this year. You Hurt My Feelings ReviewGOOD