Critics rave ‘You Hurt My Feelings’ is ‘wonderfully honest’ and ‘a sweet-and-sour little comedy for adults’ – GoldDerby

Written by on May 30, 2023

A24 released Nicole Holofcener’s “You Hurt My Feelings,” which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and reunites the writer-director with her “Enough Said” lead, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, this Memorial Day weekend. 

An elemental comedy about what happens when the white lies that help us manage relationships with friends and family are exposed, “You Hurt My Feelings” recalls Ruben Östlund’s “Force Majeure” (the American re-make, “Downhill,” stars Louis-Dreyfus) and 2023 Best Picture also-ran “The Banshees of Inisherin.” The movie centers on a writer, Beth (Louis-Dreyfus), who leads a seemingly idyllic, upper-middle-class existence in Brooklyn with therapist husband Don (Tobias Menzies) and son Elliott (Owen Teague). After overhearing Don criticize her new book, she falls into a personal and professional crisis. “This whole world is falling apart, and this is what’s consuming you?” he asks incredulously. 

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Critics say that, besides the stellar performances from Louis-Dreyfus and Menzies, the way “You Hurt My Feelings” addresses Don’s question is what makes it a particularly incisive portrait of creative insecurity. Jordan Raup (The Film Stage) writes, “It’s refreshing to see a director examine the major emotional consequences of small but significant actions,” adding, “Holofcener finds a clever truth to each interaction, never overplaying a laugh solely for the sake of a punchline, rather staying grounded in the emotional wavelength of Beth and Don.”

Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair) also praises this aspect of the screenplay, writing, “Beth acknowledges that this is ultimately a petty, narcissistic concern, but it’s her petty and narcissistic concern, and it’s what she’s feeling. The film considers her tailspin both seriously and with wry amusement, as so many moments of life should probably be regarded.” Brian Tallerico ( calls “You Hurt My Feelings” “wonderfully honest” and “one of [Holofcener’s] smartest and funniest films.” Stephanie Zacharek (Time) begins her review by declaring Holofcener “the great poet of microannoyances” and proceeds to call the filmmaker’s latest a “prickly, sweet-and-sour little comedy for and about adults.”

The film currently holds an approval rating of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus reads, “Smart, funny, and above all entertaining, ‘You Hurt My Feelings’ finds writer-director Nicole Holofcener as sharply perceptive as ever.” Between this and 2018’s “The Land of Steady Habits,” Holofcener co-wrote Marielle Heller’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” which got her and Jeff Whitty an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel” with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Additionally, she directed the first episode of “Mrs. Fletcher,” a 2019 HBO limited series based on Tom Perrotta’s book of the same name. 

“You Hurt My Feelings” opened in limited release May 26. 

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