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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

A Penny For Your Thoughts

You Hurt My Feelings on IMDb

Plot Overview


overwhelming textWhen aspiring authoress Beth Mitchell (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) eavesdrops on her husband Don (Tobias Menzies) trashing her published memoir, to her brother-in-law Mark (Arian Moayed) while they're standing in front of the men's socks display at Paragon, she is devastated. He'd praised it all along and now it seems he was lying the whole time. This movie is a series of vignettes showing the advisability of white lies in a whole gamut of situations. There are the strangers one addresses in a bar, acquaintances one strikes up in a book-writing class, friend­ships developed among in-laws, mothering a growing boy, boy­friend-girl­friend issues, bickering marriages verging on collapse, solid marriages one expects the most from, a widower who has gone through a number of them, an aged mother headed for dementia, and friendly business relations of all kinds. We're treated to a whole series of white lies it's hard to find fault with.


puzzled ladiesSince we've all prevaricated a little at times and sometimes the truth comes out it's best to develop a thick skin along the lines of, (Eccl. 7:21-22) “Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: For often­times also thine own heart knoweth that thou thy­self like­wise hast cursed others.” The instances in this movie are pretty self-explanatory, except for a couple of them with a legal twist, to wit formal counselling sessions and a same-sex “marriage.”

New England for its part is culturally Puritan territory. According to cultural historian David Hackett Fischer the Puritans regarded marriage not as a sacred in­sti­tution, but rather as pro­viding a family con­text where its mem­bers could socially live out the grace of God. They had “a cultural idea of marriage that was unique to the Puritan colonies. … The Puritans of New England rejected all the Anglican ideas. They believed that marriage was not a religious but a civil contract” (77). In the New England states—& NY & DC—the civil contract was the whole kit and caboodle, so once laws against sodomy were removed it was a simple matter of equal rights to open (civil) marriage to homo­sexuals. The rest of the states did not abide such a redefinition away from religion, but the courts stepped in to force acceptance.

Author Upton Sinclair has written, “American … culture appeared to him hopelessly tainted by its Puritan origin; it was immature, crude, hope­lessly naïve. The qualities of which it was most proud, individualism and reckless competitiveness, made certain that its career in the world would be short” (227). Quoting from the “Catholic Sentinel” of July 3, 2015 (15) concerning the court's decision:

The main opinion recognized in several places the role of religious beliefs in the questions surrounding same-sex marriage. Kennedy said toward the conclusion of his 28-page opinion that “it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.”

The First Amendment ensures protection for religious organizations and individuals as they seek to teach the principles “that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths,” he continued, and to “their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons.”

This movie takes place in New York where its populace democratically—but not universally—did come to recognize same-sex marriage. States individually determine their own marriage parameters, viz. minimum age, waiting period, degree of blood separation, etc., and where they differ they've historically gotten along with each other's criteria—except at one time for miscegenation. Same-sex marriage, how­ever, recently became a bone of contention. As seen here it was accepted in New York, and also in neighboring New England and Washington DC, but not else­where in the U.S. except by judicial decree in a few states—judges hold opinions, too—and by a huge monetary influx—11:1—for a Washington State squeaky election. The federal government uncharacter­istically—except for the monogamy gold standard—stepped in to legalize it across the land, but they didn't have to legalize it in New York, because it was already legal there. Justice Kennedy's remark that “by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned” could only serve to hurt the feelings of same-sex couples in such places where they'd enjoyed its legality without being reminded.

The hetero couple here in therapy seeing no improvement after two years of torturous sessions wanted their money refunded. Dr. Mitchell pointed out that their contract specified there is no guarantee therapy would work. It was up to them to “fix” their problems; he was merely the facilitator. Just as the Court facilitated acceptance of a novel idea but couldn't guarantee it.

Production Values

” (2023) was written and directed by Nicole Holofcener. It stars Julia Louis- Dreyfus, Tobias Menzies and Michaela Watkins. Louis-Dreyfus, Menzies, and Owen Teague (playing Eliot the 23-year-old son) were excellent in their roles. Amber Tamblyn and David Cross are worth mentioning who played to a tee Don's hopeless, bickering clients.

MPAA rated it R for language. The characters sure swore a lot over piddling matters. The cameraman made use of cool reflections off New York City's windows. Runtime is 1½ hours.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This is a comedy-drama that seems pretty funny until it hits home on some sore area where we our­selves may have taken personal offense. In a world of political correctness, how could it be avoided? It's an easy drama where problems are surface deep.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture taken from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Print.

Fischer, David Hackett. Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. New York: Oxford UP, 1989. Print, Web.

Sinclair, Upton. Dragon Harvest. Copyright Upton Sinclair, 1945. New York: Viking Press, 1945. Print.