“You Hurt My Feelings”


Rotten Tomatoes (4.5/5), Metacritic (9/10), Letterboxd (4.5/5), Imdb.com (9/10), TMDB.com (9/10)

One thing for sure you can say about the films of writer-director Nicole Holofcener is that they’re rarely what you expect but always deliver more than you hope for. What’s more, given her recent track record, she keeps getting better and better with each release. Building on inventive narrative styles, precise cinematic pacing, superb character development, a knack for capturing the unexpected and impeccable writing quality developed in her recent directorial works “Please Give” (2010) and “Enough Said” (2013), as well as her spot-on screenplay aptitude in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (2018), the filmmaker has done it again in this insightful comedy-drama, arguably her funniest and most accessible work to date. Holofcener’s multi-layered storytelling approach covers a great deal of ground, from how much honesty is too much to taking personal responsibility for resolving one’s own issues to wrestling with the ennui of nagging midlife challenges (particularly where matters of career performance are involved), and the overlapping story threads integrate seamlessly, often with carefully crafted, raucously funny boomerang effects. In addition to making viewers laugh, the film also makes them think, serving up incisive scenarios that truly give audience members much to contemplate, including incidents that they might have otherwise failed to consider. This is all stunningly brought to life by the positively stellar ensemble cast, especially Julia Louis-Dreyfus in one of her best-ever lead performances. To be sure, the story meanders a bit at the outset, but the opening act is decidedly designed to set up what’s to come, all of which plays out flawlessly as the picture unfolds. “You Hurt My Feelings” may not conform to convention or deliver what viewers expect going in, but, like a well-prepared dinner, it definitely satisfies one’s appetite for a thoroughly satisfying meal. View hearty, everyone.