Raunchy comedies are a dying bread in Hollywood, but the success of No Hard Feelings on Netflix proves there’s still an appetite for funny movies that aren’t afraid of stooping to a little potty humor.
No Hard Feelings landed on Netflix last week and has now rocketed to the very top of the most-watched list. The Jennifer Lawrence movie has managed to outmuscle stiff competition from fellow comedies Old Dads and Long Shot, and it’s even risen above Halloween family favorites like Hotel Transylvania 2 and Casper.
However, it’s not been totally smooth sailing for No Hard Feelings, the movie was a box office disappointment and its reviews are a little mixed. Having seen the flick myself, I’m here to help you decide if it’s worth streaming on Netflix, or if you should skip it.
What is No Hard Feelings about?
No Hard Feelings centers on Maddie Barker (Jennifer Lawrence), a down-on-her-luck bartender/Uber driver in Montauk, New York who is fighting against the gentrification of her hometown. Facing mounting bills, potential bankruptcy, and the threat of her childhood home being repossessed, Maddie desperately needs to earn some cash as quickly as possible.
Spotting an unusual ad on Craigslist, Maddie agrees to “date” the son of a wealthy couple, a 19-year-old introvert named Percy (Andrew Bath Feldman) in exchange for a Buick Regal. Percy’s parents hope that spending time with Maddie will bring him out of his shell and boost his confidence ahead of attending Princeton University in the fall.
With just a single summer to woo Percy, Maddie finds the task a lot harder than expected. She also faces a moral dilemma when the socially awkward teen, who is unaware of his parent's scheme, starts to develop genuine feelings for her.
No Hard Feelings reviews — what do critics say?
Released exclusively in theaters back in June, No Hard Feelings received mixed reviews. It holds a modest 71% score on Rotten Tomatoes from around 220 total verdicts, but its audience score is more impressive — sitting at a strong 87% right now.
Tomris Laffly of The Wrap praised Lawrence’s performance and pleasing comedic chops, saying the movie is “elevated by the star’s fiery comic timing and effortless drollness.” Devan Coggan of Entertainment Weekly had similar praise for the former Hunger Games star: “No Hard Feelings is a welcome addition to a dwindling genre — and a reminder that Lawrence is one of Hollywood's best (and funniest) leads.”
The slightly strange but oddly touching relationship between 32-year-old Maddie and 19-year-old Percy was also singled out for praise by several critics including Vulture’s Bilge Ebiri. They said, “For all its breeziness, No Hard Feelings stays with you because its central dynamic feels so surprisingly honest.”
However, plenty of critics weren’t quite so kind in their write-ups. David Fear of Rolling Stones was pretty savage, saying “Not even J-Law off the nice-young-lady leash can save something this lazy and desperate to offend, however. The movie simply isn’t on her level. Or really much of any level at all.” While Kevin Maher of the Times of London labeled the comedy movie “astoundingly unfunny” and called the central premise “never once credible”.
Should you stream No Hard Feelings on Netflix?
No Hard Feelings is a throwback to the types of high-concept comedies that were very popular a couple of decades ago. If you have a fondness for the early 2000s then you might find this very silly movie nostalgic. It’s also a great pick if you’re looking for something lighthearted and don’t feel in the mood for a serious drama or a chilling true crime doc.
Its premise is fairly ridiculous — and the movie never really comments on how inherently strange it would be for parents to hire an older woman to “date” their teenage son — but so long as you can accept the outlandish nature of the plot, you’ll probably have a fun time with No Hard Feelings.
If you’re looking for a movie that will really stay with you or make you think, then you can comfortably skip. But if you’re in the mood for a breezy flick that will keep you entertained for around 100 minutes, then No Hard Feelings is well worth streaming.