You Hurt My Feelings

By Joanna Langfield

In the sea of superheroes and huge budget extravaganzas, this latest treat from Nicole Holofcener and Julia Louis-Dreyfus feels like a gift. And, for some of us, a very relatable gift.

Dreyfus stars as a New York City writer and teacher, celebrating the anniversary of her long and loving marriage to Don (Tobias Menzies). Beth marvels at how lucky the couple is. And you know it’s all going to get a little bumpy from there.

What I loved about this movie is its very open eyed and open hearted self awareness. Yes. This couple is very lucky. So is their 23 year old son. And their sister and brother in law. Even the women’s mother is pretty okay. But when stuff gets in their way, the stuff of life that happens to even the best of us, we all feel it. Even when we know the world is crumbling around us. We still need to have our moment of what is an admittedly narcissistic meltdown.

At its very generous center, this is not just a movie about feelings. It’s a loving comedy about love. Love of family. Love of career. Love of even the sort of dumb stuff that drives us all crazy until we decide to fix it or move on. It’s even a love story to New York City which looks pretty irresistible.

Holofcener gets so much right here, including the casting. Menzies, Michaela Watkins and Owen Teague are wonderful as the key people in Beth’s world. And how adorable are Jeannie Berlin and Arian Moayed, who both make us love characters who are probably more adorable from afar than they would be to live with. But, of course, it’s Dreyfus at the center of this whirling and not as wobbly as it might feel wheel. Toned down from her gloriously anxious TV ladies, she’s terrific. Smart, funny, warm and a pleasure to spend an hour and half with.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.