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You Hurt My Feelings


‘…deals acerbically and instinctively with the nuances of everyday conversation and interaction, doubling down on the neurosis of the creative…’

Are we still talking about the curse of Seinfeld? Not any more. Julia Louis-Dreyfus reteams with writer/director Nicole Holofcener for You Hurt My Feelings, an understated, deeply enjoyable modern comedy which arrives on Prime in the UK this week. Holofcener previously directed Dreyfus in the excellent Enough Said ten years ago, an unconventional rom-com that marked a swan-song for James Gandolfini; You Hurt My Feelings is every bit as good, and allows Dreyfus the kind of substantial role that she’ll never get wasting her time in the MCU.

In the t’internet age, when half of what we say and do is a lie, what’s the point in telling the truth anymore? Dreyfus plays Beth, a NYC writer who is agonising over a recently completed novel; she gives it to her husband Don (Tobias Menzies) who offers her positivity and encouragement, as you’d expect. But during a shopping trip, Beth overhears Don disparaging her work, and takes offence at her husband for being so two-faced. As Beth struggles out from a crisis of confidence, she seeks the advice of her mother (Jeannie Berlin) and sister (the always great Michaela Watkins), but has Beth been too quick to take offence? Even if her husband doesn’t like her writing, isn’t positive encouragement what we do?

Comedy seems to be the last thing on the minds of studios right now, but You Hurt My Feelings deals acerbically and instinctively with the nuances of everyday conversation and interaction, doubling down on the neurosis of the creative. Dreyfus is dynamite as Beth, strident in her anger, but gradually being softened by her realisation that the matter under discussion isn’t as black and white as she once thought. Don is also a fully fleshed out character, whose patients at his therapy practice reveal a lot about how simultaneously satisfying and dissatisfying human interaction can be, and David Cross from Arrested Development has an amusing bit too.

With plenty of great side-swipes about today’s world, particularly a running gag about Beth’s do-gooder work for a local charity, You Hurt My Feelings is a smart, clever and penetrating urban comedy of today’s manners that doesn’t go for slapstick or easy targets. Sure, it’ll appeal to those who know Dreyfus from Seinfeld, but it’s also a rare and unexpectedly wise film about how we live now. And most of all, it’s funny without recourse to sentimentality or melodrama; nobody dies, or gets injured here; it’s only feelings that are hurt, but in today’s uber-sensitive world, where no two snowflakes can agree on what offends them, maybe that’s the most traumatising thing of all.

You Hurt My Feelings streaming on Prime Video in the UK from 8th August 2023.


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    • Sigh. It IS a good one, is this unacceptable to you just because it seeks to bring a smile to your face?

      • No, it’s not that. I watch 2 movies a week, one chosen by Phil, so comedies and horror are at the bottom of my genre choices, though I love a good action comedy like Meg or the Gods of Egypt.

    • Did he? An animated film about Bees? Dreyfus has had more success than the rest of them put together. FaCt!

      • I was thinking more that he was a billionaire after Seinfeld so he doesn’t really need to work. But then I think Dreyfus is a billionaire too. So no curses there.

        • It would be a creative curse to be sure. I guess they banked the money but still wanted to be loved. Money isn’t everything, but considering how popular Seinfeld was, she’s the only one with a clutch of good films and tv to her name. Just sayin’

            • That does not really compare to eight seasons of Veep with an Emmy to go with each one.

              JA is also good in Dunston Checks In, but maybe they didn’t teach that in your film Ed class.

  1. ♪Feelings♪
    ♪It’s ALL about Feelings♪

    yeah, this movie can take its feelings and shove them through a band saw. Feelings are over rated anyway. They change at a moments notice for no reason and have no basis in reality.

    Other than that, this sounds great! What is the curse of seinfeld?

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