No Hard Feelings (2023)

It’s been a minute since we’ve had a good raunchy adult comedy in the theaters. In the early aughts, the raunchy sex comedies were everywhere and they’ve since been slowly dying out. “No Hard Feelings” is a refreshing return to the good old days where comedies weren’t afraid to be risqué and offensive. And it happens to be led by none other than Jennifer Lawrence of all people. Lawrence, who is mostly known for her dramatic performances, leads the charge in what is basically a vehicle for her. While most actresses would opt for a drama or romance, Lawrence dips her toes in the National Lampoons arena with a movie that feels ripped straight out of 1987. And whether you like her or not, Jennifer Lawrence goes all in on the raunchy sex comedy.

On the brink of losing her childhood home, Maddie discovers an intriguing job listing: wealthy helicopter parents are looking for someone to “date” their introverted nineteen year-old son, Percy, before he leaves for college. To her surprise, Maddie soon discovers the awkward Percy is no sure thing.

She’s very sexy, absolutely fearless, and bold in the pratfalls and gratuitous nudity she’s willing to pull off, and more so she’s goddamn funny. Director Gene Stupnitsky has gone on record as explaining that he wrote the part of Maddie for Lawrence, and Lawrence is just so effortless in the film. The mission is a clear cut sex comedy and she really grabs the movie by the balls in so many instances taking every advantage of the R rating. Whether it’s awkwardly roller skating down a highway, or beating the crap out of three people on the beach in her birthday suit, star Lawrence is so damn good, and funny.

She’s also aided by a great supporting cast including Natalie Morales, Scott MacArthur and Matthew Broderick, respectively. While some were quick to compare “No Hard Feelings” to the awful “Failure to Launch,” Stupnitsky leans more in to the comedy and coming of age aspect more than the aforementioned. Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman grabs his own laughs here and there) is not so much a man in arrested development as he is a young man afraid to face the world. And Maddie, while giving off a terrible first impression, is also someone with her own insecurities and aspirations that make her an interesting central character through the very end.

Sadly, “No Hard Feelings” does tend to lose momentum in the final half hour with the movie losing steam and tinkering with a more dramatic tone. I wish it’d kept to its raunchy sensibilities right through to the credits like the Farrelly Brothers tend to. That said, for fans of the days of “The Hangover” and “The Wedding Crashers,” Stupnisky’s “No Hard Feelings” doesn’t re-invent the wheel, but it’s a hilarious, fun, and raunchy comedy entry with a star that makes it look so easy.