Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ best big screen work has debuted starring James Gandolfini in Nicole Holofcener’s 2013 light-hearted comedy. enough to say. It’s nice to see the actress back with the writer-director for You hurt my feelings, and even if A24’s new film is more muted in terms of emotional resonance, it’s still a winning collaboration. With beloved but believably flawed observed characters played by a handpicked cast, this is truly an exquisite New York City comedy of its kind. outdated and a light nostalgic feel is part of its appeal.
It’s probably inevitable that any movie in which Louis-Dreyfus plays one of the many Manhattan residents, all of whom are neurotic to a degree that are often mostly minor problems of their own. will bring back memories of Seinfeld. But Holofcener never switched to sitcom mode.
You hurt my feelings
Slender but satisfying.
She deftly entices you with a series of short, dramatic opening scenes that lay the groundwork for her key characters with a pleasant light touch. If the tempo slows down a bit as the central conflict unfolds, Holofcener still pulls it all together in an ending that gives everyone a satisfyingly complete arc.
Louis-Dreyfus plays Beth, a writer who has published a modestly successful memoir and is currently working on a novel but is concerned about the slow response of her editor (LaTanya Richardson Jackson). Her husband Don (Tobias Menzies) is a therapist who’s starting to feel his age (he’s contemplating an eye lift) and starts mixing up his patients’ problems, which leaves him wondering whether I still have the necessary professional dedication.
Don read Beth’s new book at every stage during her two years of pregnancy and was enthusiastically supportive each time. But the obligatory nature of that support is bluntly exposed when Beth and her sister Sarah (Michaela Watkins) decide to surprise Don and Sarah’s actor husband Mark (Arian Moayed) while they are immersed in men’s sacred socks shopping ritual. Before the women knew of their presence, they overheard Don confess that he thought the novel really wasn’t good and that draft after draft didn’t improve it.
At first, Beth keeps Don in the dark about why she’s suddenly cold because an artistic vote of no-confidence from the person she loves has thrown her into a spiral of self-doubt and resentment, leaving her question the trust in their marriage. The wound deepened when she learned that not a single student in her writing class had ever read or expressed the least curiosity about her memoir.
It’s scenes as enjoyable as that one, many flirting with with sharp mismatches, that give the comedy an interesting synergy, even if marital friction is the main driving force of the plot. .
Don’s therapy sessions are filled with funny moments, especially the ongoing battle of an unhappy couple (played by real-life couple David Cross and Amber Tamblyn with hilarious brutality. ), they resent the years and money they have poured into therapy with no progress. lead to a hostile outcome. Then there’s Sarah’s fatigue with the finicky customers of her decor business, which manifests itself in pacing back and forth to find the right sconce. Mark gets a promotion when he plays in a play but sinks into depression when he is fired, causing him to doubt his commitment to acting.
Holofcener has a knack for poking fun at his characters for their privilege and pettiness, allowing them to have uncomfortable moments without depriving them of their empathy. She even got Beth to admit that her problems are those of a small, overly narcissistic world, but that’s it. hers world. People’s problems subtly influence the sudden marital rift between Beth and Don, raising the question of whether ego reinforcement lies here and doesn’t really work. An essential tool for maintaining a strong relationship.
The key catalyst that helps Beth and Don find common ground is the misfortune of their son Eliot (Owen Teague), who has tinkered with his first play since college. Meanwhile, he’s fallen into a placeholder position as the manager of a weed shop, which Beth worries could become permanent. Upon being dumped by his girlfriend, Eliot began to spend more time with his parents, and his resentment surfaced towards his mother for constantly praising him excessively, thus setting him up for failure.
All of the comedy’s relationships are believably lived out, whether it’s couples, parents and sons, or sisters and rock mom Georgia (priceless Jeannie Berlin). Watching Louis-Dreyfus and Watkins – the secret weapon of almost everything she comes up with – joke with Berlin about trivial matters like how to transport potato salad is a joy. Likewise, Louis-Dreyfus and Berlin complain about a greasy menu in a diner, although a lack of confidence in the low-end market is what keeps them coming back. Also funny is the series of scenes in which Beth and Sarah volunteer to distribute used clothes to the homeless, with that disadvantage rarely ever avoiding Sarah’s outspokenness.
There is a humility about You hurt my feelings that makes it seem as simple and straightforward as its title. But Holofcener is such a gifted writer that it becomes a mosaic of somewhat silly minutiae, mixed with legitimate emotions. Wasted moments like Beth strategically repositioning a single copy of her memoir in a bookstore; Sarah pulled Tums, Gas-X, stool softener, and Xanax out of her bag for her birthday dinner; or Beth toasting a random lesbian couple in a bar about their support of each other’s work, adding an addition to the rather light frame of the comedy.
The other element of satisfaction is the simple yet emotional way DP Jeffrey Waldron captures glimpses of various New York neighborhoods, placing characters within a relatively limited radius that for them They feel like the center of the world naturally. It’s not a bad place to spend an hour and a half there.