From acclaimed filmmaker Nicole Holofcener comes a sharply observed comedy about a novelist whose long standing marriage is suddenly upended when she overhears her husband give his honest reaction to her latest book. A film about trust, lies, and the things we say to the people we love most.

What We Thought:

When I was asked what I thought of You Hurt My Feelings after seeing it I said I thought it was a more adult, less quirky Noah Baumbach. If you are familiar with Baumbach’s city based relationship films, then you know what type of movies I’m referring to. Maybe early Woody Allen, maybe a little Edward Burns. Dialogue driven narratives with characters that seem real and fleshed out.

That’s what this movie does best, you believe they could be real people. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a happily married woman with a therapist husband and wannabe writer son who works at a weed store. She is a teacher, but also a writer herself whose memoir did well (but could have done better according to her mother). She has a new book, this time fiction, and she secretly hears her husband talking negatively about it to her sister’s husband. She’s shocked he doesn’t like it and their relationship hits a rough spot because he doesn’t know she knows.

The film kind of is that simple. There’s side stories like the son going through a break up and the sister’s husband losing his acting job, but overall it’s simply about these two people and their relationship. It has funny moments. It has genuine moments. And it always feel authentic.

From what I’ve seen the role was written for JLD and you can clearly see why. She’s nearly flawless with the character. She brings warmth and depth to the role and humanizes her. She’s funny and her marriage feels real. Whether it’s the gifts they get each other for their anniversaries or her giving him the cold shoulder when she learns he doesn’t like the book and lied about it, this is clearly a woman you’ve met before or know personally.

The entire cast is that way too. Tobias Menzies as the husband going through his own crisis of faith trying to figure out if he actually still cares about his patients is very good. Owen Teague is the son who is struggling with his own relationship and writing. Michaela Watkins is the sister trying to help her sister cope with her husband’s lie and cope with her husband’s struggling acting career. That struggling actor husband is played by Arian Moayed which is ironic because he crushes it in Succession. Every person in the film including the mother, the son’s co-workers, the woman having her house designed by Watkins, all are honest to goodness people.

It’s funny that in 2023 a simple movie with authentic dialogue and emotions would feel refreshing, but that’s what You Hurt My Feelings is, refreshing. There’s no CGI. There’s no explosions. The characters are people you feel like you know going through situations that you probably have gone through yourself. Movie theaters are jampacked with over-the-top sequels, re-imagined, unwanted remakes and the latest CGI-fest so to see a film about adults, going through adult situations made for adults is a nice return to normalcy. The under 35 crowd won’t get it, but if you’re over 40 it might hit a little too close to home. For that reason it is…


Written and Directed by: Nicole Holofcener

Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tobias Menzies, Michaela Watkins, Arian Moayed, Owen Teague, Jeannie Berlin

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