“You Hurt My Feelings” is written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, who wrote and directed the heart-warming movie “Enough Said” starring
James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
It was a good watch. Losing James Gandolfini the same year about knocked me over. But anyway, Holofcener has also worked on shows such as the new series “Lucky Hank” and the fantastic “Parks and Recreation.” Not everything she touches turns to gold, but for the most part, she offers her audience incredible entertainment and a place to escape their problems to listen to someone else’s for a little while. Yes. I consider that a good thing.
It was nice for Holofcener to be working with Julia Louis-Dreyfus again, which immediately put me in the mood for something sweet and memorable with a taste of turmoil thrown in. I wouldn’t have minded it if Holofcener had backed off the melodrama a tad, not so much focusing on Beth’s (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) inexperience in the department of discovering that she’s not everything she thought she was. She’s built up as someone who could take criticism, so how the rest of the film portrays her is confusing.
While out shopping, she walks toward her husband, Don (Tobias Menzies), who’s with her brother-in-law, Mark (Arian Moayed), and before she can tap him on the shoulder, she accidentally hears him telling her Mark that he doesn’t like her new book. She instantly feels nauseous. Her sister Sarah (Michaela Watkins) admits to not always appreciating her husband Mark’s acting but doesn’t tell him. Sarah says Beth’s work is in the bookstores and that her books are purchased and loved by many, so why worry about this one little opinion?? Beth even has an award-winning piece for the Atlantic! She’s good!
However, the movie starts with David Cross’ Jonathan (Arrested Development) and Carolyn, played by his real-life wife Amber Tamblyn (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), in Don’s office. They’re patients of Don’s who start thinking that his therapy isn’t working. They’re the best part of the film, in my humble opinion. They eventually turn on Don and bill him for their sessions and time. The relationship between this couple and with Don and Beth’s is something for you to focus on.
Eventually, their son Eliot enters the picture. His girlfriend just had an affair, and he’s a mess about it. His mother doesn’t help him through it because she’s still too wrapped up in feeling sorry for herself. I was disappointed because I was looking forward to this movie with the above-mentioned excellent cast. Everyone was fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but they didn’t have as great of a script to work with as I expected them to have.
To make the movie so much about Beth’s pain and anger about her husband’s honest opinion of her book dragged on too far, the plot was too thin and nothing helped compel me to get to the end. The story involving Eliot fatigued me entirely.
Yes, we’d see a few moments here and there about other characters, especially Don’s frustration with clients Jim and Jonathan. Their interactions made me laugh, but I wanted to love this movie. A few times, I was, to some extent, bored. Why does as sophisticated a character as Beth is supposed to be, behave as she does in this yarn? She proclaims to always value her husband’s opinion; then why wasn’t he able to give it without her losing her mind?
You Hurt My Feelings
Directed & Written by: Nicole Holofcener
Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tobias Menzies, Michaela Watkins, Arian Moayed, Owen Teague, and Jeannie Berlin
Runtime: 1h 33m
Distributed by: A24
Produced by: Stefanie Azpiazu, Anthony Bregman, Nicole Holofcener, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
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