The First ‘No Hard Feelings’ Reviews Are Here For Jennifer Lawrence Resurrecting Raunchy Comedies: ‘She Really Commits’

After taking an acting hiatus, Jennifer Lawrence is back in all-out sex comedy, No Hard Feelings. The film, based on a real Craigslist ad, stars Lawrence as a desperate woman willing to do anything to make some bucks, which leads her to a pair of helicopter parents who really want their 19-year-old son to date somebody. And by date, they mean date. (Getting the picture?)

No Hard Feelings is the type of sex comedy that blanketed the 2000s before falling out of style. But if there’s anyone who can bring the genre back, it’s Lawrence, who’s been racking up universal praise for her all-out performance even if it’s better than the rest of the film.

You can see what the critics are saying below:

Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter:

Lawrence is a big part of the reason No Hard Feelings works. She’s sharp and sassy as the hyper-independent, emotionally avoidant lover with a short fuse. It’s fun to watch the actress embrace her sillier register, but her dramatic skills are a boon, too, lending depth to a character that could be one-note and making it easier to believe the more emotional turns the film takes later.

Sophie Butcher, Empire:

Let loose to be her most comedic self for the first time, Jennifer Lawrence is a riot. Her confidence is palpable, and she proves herself quite the physical clown — Maddie’s exploits include struggling to roller-skate up a hill, getting accidentally punched in the throat, and wrestling with would-be thieves whilst fully naked on the beach. She really commits, and looks to be having a great time while doing so.

Owen Gleiberman, Variety:

As an actor, Jennifer Lawrence radiates pride, sensuality, and a glowing belief in herself, and I didn’t buy for a moment that her Maddie would sign on to sleeping with some kid all to gain access to a car, so that she could rejoin the gig economy, because otherwise her beloved house will go poof! But watching “No Hard Feelings,” you sort of roll with it, because the director and co-screenwriter, Gene Stupnisky (“Good Boys”), works with a confectionary skill that tugs you along, because in spirit it’s just a rom-com (a form not meant to pass the plausibility test), and because Lawrence, acting with a brazen theatrical sexiness that allows her to wink at the audience at how adeptly she can turn it off and on, and newcomer Andrew Barth Feldman, who’s like Mike White crossed with the pale son of Seth Meyers crossed with an amoeba, turns out to be a winning actor.

Nick Schager, The Daily Beast:

Lawrence enthusiastically embodies Maddie as a sexpot who, beneath her alluring exterior, is a clumsy and desperate loner who’s petrified of becoming attached (as illustrated by her dislike of finger traps). Screaming and threatening, fuming and making funny faces, the star is easily the highlight of No Hard Feelings, and her rapport with Feldman does much to make the film a mildly pleasant diversion.

Tomris Laffry, The Wrap:

Had Katniss Everdeen and the “X-Men” series never gotten in the way — or, had we still lived in an era when superheroes or fantasy franchises were not seen as status symbols on the resume of a young superstar — Jennifer Lawrence would have already starred in numerous rom-coms by now, à la the Julia Roberts of the 90s. Especially after winning the Oscar for one a decade ago, with David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook.” But better late than never.

Todd McCarthy, Deadline:

It seems like quite a while since we’ve seen an apparent sex-on-the-brain romp that actually has a bit more on its mind than just pushing the boundaries of vulgarity and gross-out comedy. But while director and co-writer Gene Stupnitsky, who worked on 66 episodes of The Office and numerous other shows, is only sporadically successful at having things both ways, the film nonetheless shows talent both in generating some good laughs and in addressing serious aspects of life that eventually must be faced. Jennifer Lawrence, who is also a producer here, hits the mark as a thirty-ish woman whose great looks and popularity have seemingly delayed her full transition from hot young thing into responsible adulthood.

Josh Spiegel, /Film:

No Hard Feelings” is enjoyable because Jennifer Lawrence is still one of the most delightful actresses of her generation. (At one point, another character dryly dubs her “America’s sweetheart,” but the moniker does kind of fit in a sincere way.) She’s well matched by Andrew Barth Feldman here; their performances are what make this film work at all. If there was any cinematic justice in the world, Lawrence would have proven her romantic comedy bona fides long before now. “No Hard Feelings” is a step in the right direction, and hopefully not the last one. Here is a movie star working her magic.

Jude Dry, IndieWire:

If anyone could have saved the studio comedy, it might have been Jennifer Lawrence. But if the uneven sex comedy “No Hard Feelings” is Hollywood’s best effort, it’s not looking good for either one. Starring Lawrence as a broadly sketched caricature of an emotionally stunted, sexually liberated thirtysomething struggling to stay afloat, “No Hard Feelings” tries to resurrect the messy white woman trope that worked so well in films like “Young Adult” and “Trainwreck.” Though by no means a guarantee, there’s a crucial difference between those movies and “No Hard Feelings” — actual women wrote them.

No Hard Feelings opens in theaters on June 23.