You Hurt my feelings
When you think of the production company A24, you usually think of movies that are way out of the box. Everything, Everywhere All at Once, Marcel The Shell with Shoes On and Bodies Bodies Bodies. Me personally, I know going in I am either going to absolutely love or totally hate a movie from A24, but I know I will respect that they took chances. "You Hurt My Feelings" is a big chance for them, because it is a pretty straight forward movie. Here is the movies synopsis:
Beth (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a popular writer, and her husband Don, a well-liked teacher, share the kind of relationship that truly, seriously, for the love of God cannot be real: that is, they're actually in love. Even after decades of marriage, parenting, and their own successful careers, their physical spark has somehow not diminished; in fact, they seem to relish the opportunity to share a single ice cream cone and drive others -- including their son, Charlie -- mad. Should it come as a surprise then that his own marriage is in crisis? But when Beth discovers that Don has been untruthful to her about his opinion of her work for years -- Beth's world comes crashing down. Has their whole relationship been one Big Fat Lie?
This is a relatively "everyday" story. Guess what though? Making a movie about something not very exciting and having it work is a pretty hard thing to do. Julia Louis-Dreyfus exudes the frustration that we all feel in life at some point. Feeling like you are not accomplishing things in your career that you should be, discovering your partner may not be the person you think they are, and maybe failing as a parent. These are all things that most of us deal with or have delt with. Again, the theme this weekend, a movie for everyone. This has a target audience and IT IS ME! When the film was over, I wasn't sure what to do. Was I disappointed that A24 gave me something that I would expect from nearly any other film company? Or should I nod my head in appreciation that A24 came to the table with a well written script, relatable story, phenomenal actors and made a move that worked! It worked! I feel like they were like "hey, we can make movies you relate to, as well as out of the box stuff." And they also do it better.
Seeing Julia Louis-Dreyfus doing what she does best is effortless. This is tagged as a comedy, but it is also a drama as well. The topics and storyline can hit both genres. The way she plays off of actor Tobias Menzies (Outlander) is something you can't stop watching. Their timing and chemistry are genuine and something I wish I would have gotten from some of the other "simple" movie plots this year. I know I sometimes get on movies that aren't original or movies that don't challenge us, but it is different when you take an "everyday" story and you give it depth and great timing and then allow your actors to take it to the next level. I think there will be an audience that sees this that will think it is a letdown after everything we get from A24, but I say FINALLY!
This movie is a well-done movie. No explosions, no sleight of hand, no crazy twist. It's just a well-made movie. Sometimes that is what we need. Don't worry, they have about 5 movies coming out this year and the rest.....fit the "bonkers" mold that we have come to love.