After movies like Good Boys (2019) and Bad Teacher (2011), you couldn’t expect anything much uplifting from Gene Stupnitsky, who has always done in saucy comedy about sexual awakening. teenager. This theme, repeatedly exploited in American cinema, has nothing wrong in itself. But why does it seem required to propagate patterns of toxic behavior in these films?

Maddie (Jennifer Lawrence), a 30-something with tumultuous relationships, earns a living as an Uber driver, until her car is impounded for not paying exorbitant Montauk property taxes. Adamantly refusing to rent or sell her mother’s house to gentrifying tourists, she decides to contact parents who are looking in a Craigslist ad for a woman who can “prank” their son Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman) before his entrance to university. All this in exchange for a car. Which seems cheap to us and announces with great bells the unrealistic nature of the scenario.

There are occasional touching moments in this film and Jennifer Lawrence has a lot to do with it. His young acting partner, Andrew Barth Feldman, is also very good when his character’s awkwardness evaporates. The two actors just don’t have enough interesting material to work with to save the day. The undeniable chemistry between the main performers is the main positive point of the film.

If No Hard Feelings had been more focused on the friendship between Maddie and Percy, we could have avoided many uncomfortable and morally questionable scenes. Maddie’s attempts to seduce the young man, for example, are totally out of place, and the conception of consent seems straight out of a movie 20 years ago. Which, you know, is not a good thing.

The scenes that are intended to be comical are inspired just as much by the regressive comedies of the caliber of The Hangover and Superbad which have marked Hollywood cinema in recent decades. The idea of ​​bringing this genre back to satiate a generation’s nostalgia isn’t bad, but it would have taken a more interesting execution than that to convince us. Unfortunately, almost everything falls flat, and the discomfort is too great to appreciate the handful of successful gags. Nothing new under the sun.