No Hard Feelings is rated R. So yes- there is a double entrendre in play here and way more exposure than one might expect from Academy Award winning actress Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook, The Hunger Games, Winter’s Bone). Lawrence produces and stars in this raunchy sex comedy that is mindlessly entertaining (enough) for summer. The movie is opening exclusively in theaters, but whether you choose to see it on the big screen, eventual streaming, or at all depends on how much you like JLaw and/or movies rife with sophomoric humor on the road to a heartwarming climax (pun intended).
Lawrence plays Maddie, a bartender and uber driver in Montauk, Long Island who is struggling to keep her modest home, nestled amid the pricey properties of city-dwellers who invade her hometown every summer. Maddie’s cash flow problems are compounded when her car is repossessed. So when she spots a job posting for services rendered in exchange for a car, she’s all over it. No matter that it requires her to be all over a socially-awkward 19-year-old (Andrew Barth Feldman) whose wealthy helicopter parents (Laura Benanti, Matthew Broderick) want to hire a pretty, young thing to “date” their son Percy and “make a man out of him” before he heads off to Princeton in the fall. At 32, Maddie convinces them she’s the gal for the job.
Cue the seduction at the animal shelter, the dating montage, the misunderstandings, the cringey romantic stops and starts, and ultimately, the predictable journey toward responsible adultish decision-making.
The corny premise is helped along by solid performances from Feldman as the clueless kid who is simultaneously overwhelmed and flattered by the sudden attention and affection of an attractive stranger, and from Lawrence, who elevates any role– including an unhinged girlfriend-for-hire.
As a bonus for those of us of a certain age, it’s fun to see Matthew Broderick playing a misguided but well-meaning parent to the type of kid he might have played in the 1980s (Bueller… Bueller…).
Will No Hard Feelings score anyone an Academy Award nomination come fall? No hard feelings… but that’s a hard no. Still, as summer flicks go, it’s a relatively harmless alternative to superhero and action movies. ☺️
No Hard Feelings opens exclusively in theaters on June 23.