May 18, 2023

SCREEN | Julia Louis-Dreyfus Feels Bad – 'You Hurt My Feelings'

"You were lying to be encouraging."
Tobias Menzies Arian Moayed Nicole Holofcener | You Hurt My Feelings A24
A24 / Elevation Pictures
Indie dramatist Nicole Holofcener reteams with her Enough Said star Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the biting marriage comedy You Hurt My Feelings. Ostensibly a relationship story about over-sensitivity, Louis-Dreyfus stars as Beth, a professor and memoirist turned budding novelist, who has a personal and professional crisis when she learns her loving but otherwise milquetoast therapist husband, a witty Tobias Menzies, may have been less than honest about his compliments.

Louis-Dreyfus and Menzies are comically sensational as a codependant couple with very universally identifiable marital problems. Michaela Watkins and Arian Moayed are also low-key yet fabulously funny as Beth's equally quirky sister and actor brother-in-law with their own interesting foibles adding colour to the situational comedic setups.

At the core of Holofcener's film are very human themes of (mis)trust and the dilemma of being totally honest or encouraging despite the little white lies that may come along. Its family drama offers a not-so rosy view of honesty when it comes to loved ones and the potential downsides. All this set against a sense of the affluent white privilege of Manhattan academics only adds to the sense of humour.

You Hurt My Feeelings is a delightfully real and hilarious slice-of-life character-based relationship comedy of self-doubt beatufully highlighted by Louis-Dreyfus' naturally poignant performance. Holofcener's dry humour is laugh-out-loud funny and creates such a clear portrait of her characters and their world. It's an altogether appealing and amusing look at honesty.

More | YVArcade / Indiewire / Slashfilm

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