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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Growing Up, Moving On

No Hard Feelings on IMDb

Plot Overview

harlotNow crowding-thirty, Maddie Barker (Jennifer Lawrence) was abandoned in infancy by her playboy dad who gave her mom a house in Montauk, New York, a tourist town on Long Island where they had their summer affair. The house got passed down to Maddie but not the tax on it now due in September, she's lost her bartender job, and her car has been repos­sessed. That last puts the kibosh on her lucrative summer Uber income. She refuses to sell her home on choice real estate, because it's the only connection she has with her wayward dad. She has inherited his deceptive nature and her mom's good looks. She is more or less a tramp the way she goes through men. She's desperate for some quick income.

College News

boy and dogthe diplomabox turtleNineteen-year-old Percy Becker (Andrew Barth Feldman) starts Princeton in the fall. His hobby is astronomy; he watches through his tele­scope the slow progression of the stars. For a pet he has a languid tortoise in a terrarium. He was delayed as a toddler moving out of his parents' room, which spawned cruel rumors among his peers at school passed on through his male nanny Jody (Kyle Mooney.) He plays piano, video games and social media. He works in a pet rescue facility, with the animals but not behind the counter—minimal people skills. We peg him as a guy who will eventually get there, just not as fast as the rest.

care bearmagic
mirrorAPPROVEDPercy's helicopter parents Laird (Matthew Broderick) and Allison (Laura Benanti) Becker are concerned about their develop­mentally slow son being able to fit in with college life, so they take out an ad looking for a low-to-mid-twenties woman to break him out of his shell. Their inter­view with Maddie goes thus:

Maddie: Do you want me to date him, or “date” him? Laird, Allison: Yes! Laird: Date him! Allison: Date him! Laird: Date him hard! Maddie: I'll date his brains out!

boy and girlpenguin on skisAs opposites attract, their dating seems to have placed them on a slippery slope. Their original tryst—what prostitutes refer to as a “date”—was too abrupt for Percy, so they made a real date to get to know each other some. Women's magazines call it a mini-date if it lasts less then two hours. Their tête à tête at a watering hole kept getting inter­rupted so they cut it short. Still wanting to know each other better they decided to engage in “dating dating,” what we'd ordinarily just call dating: dinner and fun activities, what you'd see in the pictures. Eventually, to recoup lost opportunities, they go on a prom date; it ends awkwardly at a high school party.

All of the principals are going through ordinary life transitions, but at the same time as one another and with non-standard entangle­ments. Maddie as she's entering middle age is trying to claw her youth back. Percy is going from being a low-status high school dork to a much-in-demand Princeton man. And his parents are becoming empty-nesters.


Men and women being what they are, it's hard to predict the path of any given couple, even in the most stable of situations, to say nothing of parental inter­ference. Take it from a wise man, (Prov. 30:18-19) “There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.” It's impossible to anticipate how an eagle will soar or when it will swoop. A slithering serpent on a smooth rock is also difficult to track. A ship tossed by wind, waves, and current can elude our best guess. A man and woman in their intrigue beats them all.

NHF provides us with a similar heads-up by giving us three dynamics to track before beginning to peg the couple. Instead of an eagle preparing to snatch its prey, we get a long take of a big ole hook dangling from a tow truck rig as it makes its way to Maddie's residence to snag her car … not with­out protest. Instead of a serpent upon a rock we have Percy throwing him­self on the hood of her car as she's driving away trying to elude the cops—she can't afford to be stopped. Instead of a ship in the midst of the sea, we have two opportunistic skinny dippers—the beach being closed—in a mad dash to recover their stolen clothes. It's no telling how they'll end up, and the trailer doesn't help.

Production Values

” (2023) was directed by Gene Stupnitsky. It was written by Gene Stupnitsky and John Phillips. It stars Jennifer Lawrence, Andrew Barth Feldman, Laura Benanti and Matthew Broderick. Lead actors Lawrence and Feldman pull it off hands down with their scathing repartee and fluid acting. The rest of the parts were secondary but well acted.

MPAA rated it R for sexual content, language, some graphic nudity and brief drug use. The language deteriorates from “rent out your vag” to “c'mere cunty” but it seems natural in this off­beat place. For that matter no less a writer than Henry Miller bandied about c-words in his books, although we won't hear them in family-friendly venues. The skin shots go by real quick. Drugs show negative side effects.

The movie twists and turns throughout, and the characters adapt to the changes through all of its 1¾ hour runtime. No animals were harmed. It was filmed on location in Montauk, New York, USA.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This movie follows the Goldilocks motif where the parenting porridge is either too cold, too hot, or just right. The slutty mom & missing dad are too cold. The helicopter parents are too hot. Just right are Maddie's best friends and advisors, a married couple of roughly her age who are about to have a baby—their own transition. They're the good example to compare the others to, and what would make this movie palatable to Christians or to anyone else who cares about sexual virtue.

NHF is genuinely funny and doesn't rely on low brow jokes to carry it; we get a variety. If edgy comedy suits you, this one might be your cup of tea.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.