You Hurt My Feelings – Review

Worth seeing: as a rare, dialogue-based film that makes you think about your own relationships, without being particularly profound or enlightening
Director:Nicole Holofcener
Featuring:Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tobias Menzies, Amber Tamblyn, Arian Moayed, David Cross, Doug Moe, Jeannie Berlin, Michaela Watkins, Owen Teague, Trey Santiago-Hudson, Zach Cherry
Length:93 minutes
Released:8th August 2023, Amazon Prime


Beth (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is creative writer with her own memoirs already published and her first novel soon to hit the shelves.

Her loving and supportive husband Don (Tobias Menzies) is a therapist, who’s having various degrees of success with his patients.

One day, spotting Don in a shop, she pops in to greet him but overhears him telling someone that he doesn’t really like her new book; she’s horrified by what she hears, not just because she wants him to like it – but also because he’d previously told her he liked it.

Can she ever trust him again?


There’s much to enjoy and think about in Nicole Holofcener’s low-key drama.

In the days of major studio blockbusting franchise sequels, it makes a pleasant change to have a film that’s dialogue led and makes you stop for a moment to consider your own relationships. It’s just a shame the journey ended one stop short of a theatrical release.

You Hurt My Feelings is perhaps a little too simple, concentrating on something so basic – so universal – that what unfolds is surprising, only because of the rather extreme response of the protagonist.

When she eventually realises that we all tell the odd white lie every now and then – and that it’s to protect the feelings of those we love, rather than to hurt them – the point of the film rather evaporates.

The angst of an insecure writer comes across well though – and as a writer with similar angst of my own, I can testify to that. But such angst should not be so extreme as to push away your loved ones, and while that’s the source of the drama, here, it feels less authentic. A writer should understand empathy, after all.

While this modest film was perfect fodder for this year’s Sundance film festival, both in Utah and in London, UK cinemas clearly didn’t feel it warranted more than a streaming release.

Perhaps the most interesting characters are David Cross and Amber Tamblyn’s unhappily married couple who don’t feel that Don’s counselling is helping their relationship – maybe Holofcener could give us a franchise-style spin-off whose sequel status could return her to the big screen.