Constantly being accused of disliking “comedy”; a subjective art form, admittedly there’s a modicum of truth in the accusation; humor to me must be rib-cracking, mascara running, bladder imperiled; guffawing uncontrollably, lusting for a repetition of the hilarious scene. Movies like Woody Allen’s “Sleeper” or Mel Brooks “The Producers” pass the “funny” test but the stellar, iconic funniest film I have ever seen is the 1973, “The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob”; jocularity abounds in this French parody of a bigoted Frenchman forced to impersonate a Rabbi while fleeing assassins; with age, brainy writing and intuitive acting exponentially expands this wickedly wonderful movie.
Which brings me to director Nicole Holofcener’s “You Hurt My Feelings” (the jejune title was the first hint of disappointment); protagonists of middling mediocrity, perpetually whining, dishing out praise, instead of realistic, objective critiques to their partners. Honestly, we have all praised the “unpraisable” to a loved one, figuring the truth would sting and possibly damage the relationship: disastrous dinner, unflattering dress, inept speech or in this case a book that suffers in comparison to the prior literary endeavor; “Beth” (predictably accomplished Julia Louis-Dreyfus) overhears her husband “Don” (appropriately cast Tobias Menzies) gently bashing her latest attempt at a “bestseller”; he is a floundering psychiatrist, loosing connections with his patients, flirting with plastic surgery to stave off the inevitable metamorphosis of age.
I smiled minimally throughout this perceived scenario; heartily laughed once when a couple, after years of therapy, demanded a refund of $33,000 dollars for their wasted, failed and still malfunctioning marriage.
Karma says, “sometimes you have to make a decision, that will hurt your heart but heal your soul”; a worthwhile motto for the protagonists to adopt in “You Hurt My Feelings”.
TW0 & ½ STARS!!