No Hard Feelings

No Hard Feelings ★★

The first half of this is pretty great! Kind of raunchy, kind of audacious, and pretty hilarious. As it happened I had to pause it at the one-hour mark, and when I came back to watch the rest it was like a different movie altogether: treacly and sentimental and really corny. That second half concerns itself with trying to sand the edges off the frankly transgressive premise of the first half, and the path it takes to do this is infuriatingly banal. Like so many modern comedies it makes the fatal mistake of assuming that viewers really want a heartwarming underbelly beneath the debauched comedy. I just could not care less about how these characters really care for one another and how it’s true love or friendship or whatever. All I want is more outrageous hijinks and Jennifer Lawrence giving voice to her belligerent inner townie. As a side note: I didn’t hate the naked fighting on the beach either.

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