Julia Louis-Dreyfus doesn’t quite mesh with the writer’s sense of frustration that her husband doesn’t like her work.
Photo: Gyeongju Park
You hurt my feelings is about middle-aged adults who get stuck in a surprisingly immature argument. As indicated by the title, which contains a pitch complaint, the characters realize that their complaints are petty. But that doesn’t make the feelings they’re grappling with any less urgent. “This whole world is collapsing this What is swallowing you up? Don, a therapist played by Tobias Menzies, sobs at his wife, who becomes distraught when she learns he doesn’t like her new book. Said’s wife, an author and teacher named Beth (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), replies that her own world may be small and narcissistic, but it’s the world she’s got This acknowledgment manages to be more disturbing than the film’s incongruity, as if it were You hurt my feelings I’ve caught up with the social media tendency to include everything in qualifiers and apologetic acknowledgments. Beth and Don encounter first-world problems as they lead a blissful first-world life in New York, sharing a spacious spare bedroom apartment that their 23-year-old son Elliot (Owen Teague) returns to when he has girlfriend problems. It’s their charmed life on screen – do we really need an asterisk to assure us that they know things are worse for others?
You hurt my feelings It comes from Nicole Holofcener, who has been the maestro of unspoken resentment and petty slander since her directorial debut in 1996. Walk and talk. You hurt my feelings It’s Holofcener’s seventh film, her first in five years, and it’s hard not to think of the degree to which the sharp female-centered comedy genre has been taken off the big screen, especially when looking at her filmography, which has been dominated by episodes of TV shows. increasingly to other people. Perhaps that explains the air of indecision in her latest book, which, like Kelly Richardt’s boss show, deals with the fact that the art you put your heart into is unlikely to make much of an impact. first book of beth, I had to say itIt was a memoir of her father’s abuse. verbal Abuse, everyone’s always quick to pinpoint her, and she jokes to her disapproving mom (the always wonderful Jenny Berlin) that “maybe if Dad hadn’t been so verbally abusive, he’d have been a better seller.” The novel she had spent the previous two years working on was supposed to be her follow-up, except that her agent had no contact with her, and when she heard Don admitted he had no interest in the work either, despite her representation. The main counselor and cheerleader, are the spirals.
This is Louis-Dreyfus’ second collaboration with Holofcener, after the sweet rom-com Enough happy With James Gandolfini, though, they don’t quite meet here. Louis-Dreyfus points out the comedy with her performance when Holofcener’s script finds its laughter in the characters getting things right—a scene in Beth’s writing class would have been better if it weren’t so clearly showing the character’s confusion in her students’ proposals. When Beth flees the scene of Don’s unknown confession, Louis-Dreyfus tends to the physicality of her character and threatens to vomit while never selling the real distress she’s supposed to feel. Louis-Dreyfus is an engaging lead, her endearing relationship with hanging dog Menzies compelling, but she places atmospheric quotations around the film’s central conflict in a way that seems to underscore her banality. Meanwhile, the other characters struggle with their own desires for validation. Beth’s sister, Sarah (Michaela Watkins), an interior designer, struggles to find a sconce to satisfy a picky client while her husband, Mark (Ariane Moayed), vows to give up acting after being fired from a play. Don wonders if he’s really making a difference in his clients’ lives (David Cross and Amber Tamblyn, as an entwined couple, are absurdly stacked standouts).
Rather than reinforce Beth’s crisis, these secondary stories soften it because what Beth is experiencing is very specific. In the heart .. or in the middle You hurt my feelings It is the terrible weakness of making art, an intensely personal process, and then releasing it into an indifferent world. Beth’s sense of betrayal when she learns Don has been lying to her about his true opinion is accompanied by the unspoken understanding that she would have been absolutely crushed had he been honest with her from the start. What she wants is for her work to be loved, and if the person she loves most can’t do that for her, what could she wish for from anyone else? That feeling may be childish and unfair, but it’s also raw and real, something the movie never really embraces. You hurt my feelings Set in a sunny New York shot at the height of gravity, the film is set among people living the comfortable middle-class life that is in reality nearing extinction in Manhattan. He’s surprisingly warm and sexy, but what he could use is a little emotional ugliness.
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