You Hurt My Feelings is a movie tearing apart the artistic complex. A film that questions whether professionals can have their lives figured out in the twenties or thirties. It’s honest and personal, as if Nicole Holofcener is using Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a stand in for directors and creatives everywhere.
You Hurt My Feelings succeeds by inflicting deeply personal and honest anecdotes of interactions between people in a relationship. Nicole Holofcener crafts a movie that feels fully realized, unaffected by common storytelling tropes or narrative twists and turns. It’s not twee or acidic, rather working in a gray area between the two that is both cozy and distancing, warm and cold.
This can only be accomplished by performances that are as personal and authentic as the story itself. Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as the self-conscious writer Beth, who is trying to capitalize on the middling success of her memoir by publishing her first work of fiction. She instills in her character the same unsureness and self-effacing tendencies that you would see in a mother questioning her parenting style or a significant other examining their own relationship.
Both of these come into fold when she overhears a conversation by her husband Don (Tobias Menzies in an intentionally faceless performance that feels both aloof and estranged in equal doses) exclaiming his distaste for Beth’s new novel. This shatters Beth, who’s convinced she can’t trust anything her husband says anymore. We’re stuck playing a he said, she said game after this, ultimately understanding both sides of the picture while admitting the two are surprisingly mediocre at conversing with one another despite years of being married.
Reviews for Movies like You Hurt My Feelings
And despite Don being a professional therapist, although you wouldn’t get the sense he’s a very successful one judging by the various sessions he’s having that are stitched in between plot points within You Hurt My Feelings. The movie is overwhelmingly about adults far along in their careers struggling with whether they’ve achieved what they hoped for. Don has the most stable job, banking on session fees to provide for his family. Even that comes into question during moments of passive aggressiveness from his patrons.
You Hurt My Feelings is thematically dense, working to untangle the cause of occupational and societal uncertainty. Beth juggles the life of a modest writer, mother, and daughter. Julia Louis-Dreyfus gives an empathic performance, allowing you to seep into the hilariously dark, despondent streets of New York City. Nicole Holofcener’s take on the city isn’t nearly as angry as the likes of Noah Baumbach, but it’s not too much unlike that same tone.
It’s compelling, from a script full of jabs and worthy comedic moments, to purposefully unsure conversations that question Beth or Don’s ability to continue the life they’re living. You’ll see many movies in your life trying to achieve the same effect that You Hurt My Feelings does, but most of them fail because of an inability to be vulnerable and personable. This one gets it. I liked it.
Where to stream You Hurt My Feelings: VOD
Film Cast and Credits
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Beth
Tobias Menzies as Don
Michaela Watkins as Sarah
Arian Moayed as Mark
Owen Teague as Eliot
Amber Tamblyn as Carolyn
David Cross as Jonathan
Zach Cherry as Jim
Jeannie Berlin as Georgia
Director: Nicole Holofcener
Writer: Nicole Holofcener
Cinematography: Jeffrey Waldron
Editor: Alisa Lepselter
Composer: Michael Andrews
You Hurt My Feelings movie on Letterboxd
You Hurt My Feelings movie on IMDb