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You Hurt My Feelings (Comedy, Drama) (2023)

Director: Nicole Holofcener

Writer: Nicole Holofcener

Stars: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tobias Menzies, Michaela Watkins, Jeannie Berlin

An overheard conversation by her husband leads an already self-doubting novelist to further confidence issues and a strained relationship to boot.

With a significant career featuring primarily dramedies, Nicole Holofcener's "You Hurt My Feelings" sees her reunite with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who also starred in "Enough Said". It's a mature project with genuine emotions of a long-standing marriage seemingly catered to specific audiences. Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival and filmed in New York City, it has been produced by FilmNation Entertainment and Likely Story to be distributed by A24.

Having previously published a relatively successful memoir about her troubled past, Beth (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) tries her hand at writing a fiction novel. Her husband, Don (Tobias Menzies), a therapist with strenuous patient-therapist relations, is devotedly supportive of her writing. Yet, when overheard having an honest conversation, his opinion isn't as affirmative, leading to a lack of confidence and previously unexplored tension between Beth and Don.

Seasoned within the honestly complex and personal genre, Holofcener once more delivers a sharp and relatable film, exploring genuine tension within the lives of adults going through the motions of life and all that it carries.

Strifeā€”an ideal descriptor for "You Hurt My Feelings". As a frank and poignant drama, it reflects on societal pressures everyone faces at some point, presenting situations with a playful chime when beneath lies that gut feeling of awkwardness and tension. Loving yet self-destructive, Louis-Dreyfus and Menzies' gradual development furthers the displeasing yet completely intentional impressions and degradation shown effectively and naturally despite the lacquering of folly.

While capable, "You Hurt My Feelings" is created and explicitly targeted, much like cheese is best enjoyed matured, it is the audience instead of the product that needs the maturing. Honestly, while that demographic didn't entirely include me, there are moments within which must be amiable to some. Additional casts such as Michaela Watkins, Jeannie Berlin and several of Menzies' patients formed situational comedy just opportune enough for near-everyone to uncover the slightest grin on their faces.

If you've been born early enough to watch "Seinfeld", Louis-Dreyfus will always hold a place in your nostalgic heart, add someone like Menzies, and you've said enough for me. Still, this wasn't a cinematic experience I'm keen to enjoy, there's a particular generic aroma around it, in cases intentional, but the narrative within didn't entice enough to keep me hooked.

It hurt my feelings.