Julia Louis-Dreyfus, 'You Hurt My Feelings' team analyze aftermath of 'Betrayal'

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, ‘You Hurt My Feelings’ team analyze aftermath of ‘Betrayal’

(The following story contains spoilers from You hurt my feelings.)

When Julia Louis-Dreyfus heard the concept behind her new film You hurt my feelingsit immediately resonated with her.

The project, by writer-director Nicole Holofcener, who Louis-Dreyfus worked with on the 2013 film Enough saidfollows Louis-Dreyfus author’s character, Beth, as she’s working on a new novel, which her longtime husband, Don (Tobias Menzies), has told her he loves, when she hears Don say he actually doesn’t like the book.

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“Oh bam! It’s huge,” Louis-Dreyfus recalled thinking. “Because as a creative person, the idea of ​​someone lying to you on such a fundamental level about something so personal, he spoke to me. For me it was more interesting than an infidelity, for example.

The impact of the criticism is heightened by the fact that, as viewers learn, Beth’s father has also been particularly harsh towards her, with him being characterized early on as “verbally abusive” before it is later revealed that he called her “stupid” and “shit”. for brains,” with Beth muttering the latter as she reviews a draft of her novel after hearing Don’s real opinion.

This connection becomes clearer over the course of the film, says Holofcener, explaining that the moment of revelation was what made sense for the character and her story.

“Things can be revealed slowly, I think,” she said The Hollywood Reporter TO You hurt my feelings’ Screening in New York last week. “She calls herself ‘brain shit’ and we later realize that’s what her father called her, so I like to roll out the stories as they go along.”

A miserable Beth initially shuts Don out before revealing that she knows what he said.

As Don and Beth explain what happened, Don tries to insist that he loves her regardless of how he feels about her book, which reflects the larger question raised by the film.

“It starts with the specifics of the book, but then really the conversation is about ‘Are you your job?’ And, ‘Can I love you if I don’t love your work?’” said Louis-Dreyfus.

Holofcener notes that while Beth and Don don’t specifically speak about her critiques of the book, they may have gotten over that offscreen scene.

“I think the bigger issue was more wanting her approval and him lying to her, not what he didn’t like about the book,” Holofcener explained. “Like she said, ‘Hey, I’m not going to get the book’ in the first draft and here’s why, but it’s too late for that. And it kind of should have done it in the beginning.

And Menzies says the film explores both the relationship between love and support for one’s work, as well as “the idea of ​​how honest one can be with the people closest to them.”

“Those moments where it’s going, I love you; I’m sorry if sometimes I don’t love everything you do, that’s a reasonable position to take,” Menzies said DAY of his character’s approach. “He is not a saint. Maybe he just doesn’t understand. Like the street scene, he says, I don’t know everything about novels; I didn’t like it, but I wanted to support you and wasn’t sure how to deal with it.

However, both Beth’s sister Sarah (Michaela Watkins) and brother-in-law Mark (Arian Moayed) immediately acknowledge the horror of what Don said, with Mark being the one he’s disclosing his opinion to and Sarah accompanying Beth as listen Don.

“Immediately I have a secret from my sister-in-law that I don’t want to hold onto,” Moayed said of her character’s reaction to the news. “And it’s one of those things where you hang on and hope to God it doesn’t bother you or get in your way, but immediately it’s just a big train wreck.”

Watkins notes that her character “has to lie” to Beth as well.

“He heard it. He knows how bad it was,” Watkins said DAY. “It was a betrayal. It was really awful, and we know that because my character comes home and says to her husband, ‘That was bad. It was really bad.’”

In contrast to the harsh feedback she received from her father and husband, Beth praised her son, Eliot (Owen Teague), and encouraged him as he struggles to finish his play, something he completes near the end of the film.

As for why Eliot is finally able to get his job done, Teague highlighted the “emotional experience” of breaking up with his girlfriend and surviving a mugging and the conversations he’s had with his parents meanwhile.

The film ends with Beth and Don reading Eliot’s complete work, but viewers never see their reactions as the film fades to black with the two of them reading.

Menzies admits he’s not sure how they’re responding because “it’s a deliberately puzzling moment.”

“But I guess my hunch is there’s probably something good in there and there might be something that’s not so good, so it’s probably a complete blend,” she continued. “We shot in different ways where we were a little more animated and a little more responsive, and it was interesting that the scene she used was quite simple. In that vacuum, you imagine what they might be thinking. What I guess he’s really saying is that these things never end.

Last week’s screening took place during the writers’ strike, putting Holofcener and his cast in “an interesting conundrum,” as the writer-director put it.

“The film has been written. It’s in preview,” Holofcener said DAY. “I am very happy that I was allowed to do this. I think people need to go see the films that writers and directors make. But I think writers should be paid fairly. And as soon as this promotion is over, I’ll be out there picketing. I think their pay should be commensurate with the success of the material.”

Watkins echoed that, praising his writer-director.

“Nicole Holofcener is one of, if not the best filmmaker working right now, and the budget for this film wasn’t very big, even for her. How can someone who’s been making movies for so long not be completely fired up by the business? Watkins said. “This movie is the sort of thing: AI is not going to write this movie. This is nuance; this is subtlety; this is lived experience, and this is Nicole who is the best observer of human nature. These are writers; this is their art; this is cinema.