Jennifer Lawrence’s new comedy, No Hard Feelings, is out in theaters and doing okay, which is mostly good news for the future of R-rated comedies. However, The Hollywood Reporter felt the need to double-check with everyone who worked on it to make sure that they don’t actually think the movie’s premise is a good idea that people should do in real life.
For those who didn’t see it, Lawrence plays a 32-year-old woman who answers an ad on Craigslist from a couple who want someone to “date” their shy and awkward 19-year-old son. It’s a funny premise for a sex comedy, and the trailer makes it clear that A.) the plan won’t work out that way and B.) everyone will learn something along the way.
But won’t someone please think about the kids? Luckily, THR talked to a lot of people at the film’s premiere last week, and they all said that the movie does not suggest that parents pay adults to have sex with their teenagers (whew!). One of the parents, Laura Benanti, says that the movie is a “very satirical look at what can happen if you don’t give your kids more freedom to figure things out for themselves.
” Matthew Broderick, who plays one of the other parents, also says that their characters are in the wrong. He says that it’s important to let kids go off and figure out how to live their lives, but “these parents decide to mess with nature.”
Even though the movie is based on a real Craigslist ad, the producers and writer/director Gene Stupnitsky told THR that they didn’t try to find out what happened (if anything) with the real case. It’s not a movie about what would happen if this were real.
Instead, it’s an exaggeration of helicopter parenting and the social pressures to live your life a certain way. Stupnitsky also says that he’d be “surprised” if anyone thought No Hard Feelings was creepy. He says, “We took great care to avoid the ick factor,” and they tried to tell the story with a “humanist approach.”
Really, it doesn’t take a lot of media literacy to see a movie’s trailer and figure out that it’s not going to be about how cool it is to pay someone to trick your shy child into having sex with them, assuming that was a real concern and not just something that everyone making the movie felt compelled to talk about, which is not a given.
The point is that not everything that happens in a movie is totally backed by the people who made it. This is especially true if the thing that happens is clearly ridiculous and they make a joke out of the fact that it’s clearly ridiculous!