Title: You Hurt My Feelings
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Nicole Holofcener
Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tobias Menzies, Michaela Watkins, Arian Moayed
Runtime: 1 hr 33 mins
What It Is: Beth (Louis-Dreyfus) is an accomplished writer with a seemingly well-rounded life, with a positively regarded autobiography under her belt, a fictional novel underway, a loving therapist husband Don (Menzies), an intelligent yet sensitive son, and charity work that she runs with her sister. It seems her and her family’s lives are on a continuous path towards success, though, as humans do, they find themselves standing in their own way. Things turn on their head when, while experiencing anxiety and insecurity over her writing, Beth overhears Don remarking that he didn’t like her new manuscript, she can’t help but take it personally, causing her to question the validity of their entire relationship.
What We Think: Certainly a “human drama,” this short but sweet feature features some wonderful performances on behalf of the entire cast, no matter how big the role, as they breathe life into their characters. While much of the writing tends to fall into a cyclical structure and starts becoming rather predictable, even a little tired, the cast members triumph in elevating the script and maintaining an overall enjoyable movie. The themes and experiences in the film become all too confronting and relatable, though thankfully never crossing the line into melodrama. You feel for the characters, including Beth considering the film is centered on her inciting incident, and find their insecurities and dilemmas mirror many of our own today, whether or not they’re rational fears or concerns, which, in retrospect, are usually always not as earth-shaking as they appear to be in the moment. The portrayal of realistic relationships confronts how our own flaws and insecurities create these sorts of “issues,” even being taken to the level of trauma, but how the characters overcome and deal with the situations, working through them, or even not working through them is all too familiar.
Our Grade: B, A joyous, chuckle-worthy, and sharp human comedy-drama, You Hurt My Feelings serves as a surprisingly candid look at what happens when we stand in each other’s way when really we’re the only ones who can fix the outcome for the better. The real look at relationships whether parent-and-child, familial, or long-lasting marriage is carried with as much dignity as it is not, reminding us that while we’re allowed to process our emotions and take our crafts seriously, love, understanding, and forgiveness are what we need to carry on.