No Hard Feelings was a welcome reminder of a story that does not get made anymore. Jennifer Lawrence (Causeway) stars as Maddie, a 32-year-old bartender and Uber driver in Montauk, New York. After having her car repossessed and facing bankruptcy, she turns to Craigslist for help. A pair of wealthy parents (Laura Benanti (tick, tick…BOOM!) and Matthew Broderick (The Producers)) are looking for someone to help their 19-year-old son Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman (White Noise)) get out of his shell. If she completes the task, they will give her something she needs, a Buick Regal. What follows is a raunchy story with lots of heart.
If you’re interested in learning about the film in a more spoiler-free capacity, make sure to check out EoM Contributor Gabe Lapalombella’s initial theatrical release review. Moving forward, we won’t be afraid to strip all the details down.
The film manages to deliver the funny R-rated hijinks that audiences are looking for. It’s the giant heart and sincerity that is the film’s secret weapon. Lawrence and Feldman have a serious chemistry that is delivered in an authentic way. Their “romance” morphs into something that is more like a sincere friendship. Every character is working on their own inner turmoil and identity in the world. While the film wasn’t a box-office smash, it received positive reviews from critics and fans alike. It was the equivalent of a cinematic warm hug, which is hard to find in cinema today.
That is not to say the film is without its own (if minuscule) form of subtext. Maddie was born and raised in Montauk and is clearly proud of this. She clearly states her disdain is for the people who simply vacation in her town. It is an interesting angle for the upper vs. lower class dynamics that the film explores. It is a rewarding and exciting bit of commentary for a film that is advertised as a raucous summer comedy. It makes its few points behind a cavalcade of continuously solid laughs. The film certainly is not deep, but it is an impressive angle that was made apparent to me on a second watch.
Now audiences have a chance to watch this raunchy and heartfelt story from the comfort of their own homes. It is a perfect watch with your significant other or simply if you need a good pick-me-up. The characters have such endearing personalities that, even if you know the destination, the journey is rather bountiful. The cast dynamic would make one hope the home release was filled with bonus features. It is the lack of features that will leave some feeling disappointed.
Both the Blu-ray and digital releases only contain three behind-the-scenes featurettes. The featurettes are titled “Outtakes & Bloopers,” “A Motley Crew: Meet the Characters,” and “A Little Wrong: Making No Hard Feelings.” The featurettes run for a total of 15 minutes in length. It will disappoint fans that these featurettes do not contain more behind-the-scenes goodies. That does not mean the featurettes are without their own merits. I would go as far as to recommend watching these features before watching the movie. In short, these featurettes could help to enhance your overall watching experience.
Each of these featurettes tackles an entirely different part of the filmmaking process. The “A Little Wrong” featurette is an interesting discussion from the writers and director about the exploration of the themes of the film. The gag reel, on the other hand, has plenty of chuckles and gives ample context to the leading stars’ chemistry. The feature that stands out to me is “A Motley Crew,” which discusses the casting process.
Lawrence is also a producer on the film and it is interesting to see her discussing it (even briefly). Listening to her, as well as other producers, discuss the casting of Barth Feldman stood out. He delivers a funny performance that is ideally in tune with the filmmaker’s vision. If you watch one featurette before the film, watch this one to appreciate the casting. It’s a small piece that can enhance your viewing experience for the better. Still, the brief lengths of the featurettes could leave some wanting more.
No Hard Feelings is a must-have physical release for comedy fans. Its R-rated sensibilities are perfect for a movie night. While it is raunchy, those looking for silly escapist entertainment will be wowed by its charms. The film is not deep but flirts successfully with some impressive themes about class. With all of that being said, it’s the chemistry between Lawrence and Feldman that helps it stand out from the crowd. This raunchy comedy will be perfect for a watch at home.
No Hard Feelings Special Features:
- Outtakes & Bloopers
- A Motley Crew: Meet the Characters
- A Little Wrong: Making No Hard Feelings
Available on digital August 5th, 2023.
Available on Blu-Ray and DVD August 29th, 2023.
For more information, head to the official Sony Pictures No Hard Feelings website.
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie being covered here wouldn’t exist.