The beginning of You Hurt My Feelings starts with a counseling session. The topics addressed focus on feelings. The film displays how human emotions can have a big impact on how people take criticism. You Hurt My Feelings is an experience exploring how others think of each other, and how their careers and success come into play.
The start of the film begins with adults having frustrations with their careers. The focus is on a married couple, Beth, and Don. Beth is played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Don is played by Tobias Menzies. Beth is a novelist and Don is a therapist. They have a son named Eliot played by Owen Teague. Beth is more determined to find success. She questions, however, if Don truly has faith in her dreams of exploring new ideas in her writing. Beth goes on a stroll with her sister Sarah (played by Michaela Watkins), and they find Don in a store talking to Sarah’s husband Mark (played by Arian Moayed). As they come closer to their husbands, Sarah freezes as she overhears Don say some snarky remarks about the novel Beth currently has in the works. This, of course, hurts Beth’s feelings as one might guess from the movie’s title.
The film is filled with a plethora of turmoil among all the characters from this point forward. Not only does Beth feel annoyed and put down after overhearing Don, but Sarah also struggles to support her husband, Mark. Mark is a struggling actor who is not getting the roles that speak to him. Primarily, the focus is on Beth and Don, but the other character’s troubles play into the film’s theme of finding success. Beth has a hard time having faith in her husband, while Sarah has a hard time supporting her husband’s acting career. Don even finds himself in distress when working with his patients in his job as a counselor. Everyone in the film at times falls into a pattern of feeling thrown under the bus, or feeling like they are throwing someone else under the bus. The writing in You Hurt My Feelings is brilliant in the way it presents a calm and heartfelt sense with natural human emotions.
The appreciation demonstrated throughout the film is reestablished in various scenes and particular moments. Despite Beth’s frustration with Don’s critical words, she puts more effort into trying to help her son Eliot. Beth attempts to help her son follow his dreams through his writing. Eliot continues to struggle to get his act together. The inspirational factor in You Hurt My Feelings is its approach in showcasing how feeling rejected yourself can cause you to want to encourage others.
There are moments of joy and laughter even during the harsher scenarios in You Hurt My Feelings. There are also several scenes which reinforce the experience of realizing the need for change. Despite the aggravations between the characters, it all works out in the end. Three and a half stars for You Hurt My Feelings.