R-rated studio comedy hardly ever appears in the theater these days, especially in the age of streaming. The only mature comedies usually come from Universal Pictures, which likes to bend genres (“Cocaine Bear”, “Renfield”), mix concepts for children, but with a touch of maturity (the upcoming” Strays”) or bet on a comedian closely associated with Judd Apatow (“Bros”). But a solo comedy vehicle for an A-lister to show off his comedic (not universal) chops sounds like a pipe dream. But Sony and Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence made that dream come true with the confident r-rated comedy “No Grudge.”
Directed by Gene Stupnitsky (“Good Boys”, co-creator of Freevee’s “Jury Duty”), the film revolves around Maddie Barker( Lawrence), a Montauk-based Uber driver in her early 30s who is on the verge of bankruptcy. When his car is taken over by his despised ex-trucker Gary (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), the house left to him by his after mother is on the verge of foreclosure, and the income from his banal part-time bartender job at a seafood bar is far from enough to suffice. Maddie resorts to Craigslist and responds to a strange job ad that offers a Buick Regal as compensation. The post: go out with the 19-year-old son of a rich couple (Matthew Broderick and Laura Benanti) Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman) for the summer, get him out of his shell and pop his first cherry before going to Princeton University in the fall. Percy’s clueless, awkward atmosphere, who initially thought the gig was a no-brainer, gives Maddie a run for her money.
Since leaving the Creative Artists Agency in 2018, Jennifer Lawrence’s recent return to the big screen is proud to be liberated from the intensity she has put into her recent roles. His days as a prestigious Oscar bait and as a franchise star who wore exhaustion in his performances are over. Today, his freedom of choice and freedom are at the forefront of every new project. In “No Hard Feelings ” Lawrence proudly raises his strange flag.
Through the hectic and rashly cynical Maddie, Lawrence returns to her comedic roots from “the Bill Engvall Show” from 2007 and dominates every facet of her performance here. She has the same skillful comedic skills as Anna Faris, Charlize Theron, Emma Stone and Regina Hall, who spill her sensuality on a dime and plunge into silly behavior. Lawrence has an expert comedic timing, especially with Maddie’s cynical applause and insults. Even for a qualified talent like Lawrence, she still impresses with her dedication to scandalous exploits of body comedy. Nothing that she did as a mystic in one of the “X-Men” films will be able to compete with Maddie, who in her birthday suit becomes a professional wrestler for a group of teenagers.