'You Hurt My Feelings' Review: Julia Louis-Dreyfus Stars in Gloriously Hilarious Comedy | Sundance 2023
Nicole Holofcener reunites with Louis-Dreyfus for a quiet comedy about small choices that change relationships.
Nicole Holofcener's screenplay is often about perspective, whether it's through the rom-com lens of Enough Said, the defense of fraud through Can You Ever Forgive Me?, or how different perspectives change the narrative of The Last duel. In the writer-director's latest film, "You Hurt My Feelings," she continues to explore point of view, but with a lighter, quieter approach that's also hilarious and will raise eyebrows in anyone who has had to rely on white lies. resonance.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as Beth, a novelist who is struggling with her new book and worries that - like her previous book - it may not get the attention it deserves. Likewise, her husband Don (Tobias Menzies) is a therapist, but he's not sure he's good at what he does. Beth's sister Sarah (Michaela Watkins) is an interior designer tired of buying stupid junk for people too rich to have taste, while her husband Mark (Ariane Moyer) Arian Moayed) is an actor, tired of the rush of trying to be one.
Through these relationships and others, Holofcenter is exploring how white lies can help and hurt our relationships. For example, Holofcener shows how trust and honesty can change These connections were made through Don as we spent time with him during several of his sessions. For example, Carolyn and Jonathan (played by Amber Tamblyn and David Cross) come to Don for years, nothing changes, and finally, they decide to come clean and admit that he hasn't done anything for their relationship. Likewise, Jim (Zach Cherry), one of Don's new clients, takes Don's misleading advice and then whines at the end of the meeting about how useless he is. In some cases, we see that honesty in these relationships can be a good thing for Don and his patients, while in other cases, it can hurt both parties.
However, the core exploration of the idea takes place between Beth and Don, and without spoiling the inflammatory events, this moment involves one character overhearing something the other shouldn't. This moment is almost near the end of the first act, as Holofcener lets us live with these characters, get to know them in simple moments like class or volunteering, and then subverts those dynamics with this seemingly trivial reveal, but will have significant implications for the relevant To the staff, this seems earth-shattering.
This is the beauty of the Holofcener tone, It's not rushed or filled with big stakes, but there are still rich and complex points to delve into. As with her last Holofcener collaboration, Louis-Dreyfus is a perfect fit for Holofcener's style. The two work well together, with Louis-Dreyfus able to bring out the more reserved side of her humor while still being hysterical. Louis-Dreyfus and Menzies have great chemistry, too, and their characters' only child, Elliott (Owen Teague), often feels like a third-rounder because of their closeness.
But it's You Hurt My Feelings' low-key, restrained style that makes Holofcener's film feel so special. It's not the type of comedy we usually see, the movie takes its time and doesn't focus on ridiculous situations or wild changes of plot. Instead, it's mostly about a group of middle-aged men and women arguing about when they should and shouldn't use small lies in a relationship. Thanks to these smaller stakes, "You Hurt My Feelings" becomes a powerful comedy about minor mistakes and bad choices.
You Hurt My Feelings is a movie that reminds us why Holofcener is one of the best comedy writers working today, Her ability to write films of such low impact often feels like a monumental achievement, because it feels honest, human, and utterly serious in those situations. "You Hurt My Feelings" fits well with Holofcener's other directorial comedies, but we need more films like this that highlight the minutiae of our lives, the absurdity of failing to do things right, and the humor inherent in everyday life.