Monday, Dec 04, 2023

‘Hard Feelings’ On Netflix Movie Review: Aiming For ‘American Pie’, ‘Hammerharte Jungs’ Ends Up Being A Humourless Sex Comedy

‘Hard Feelings’ On Netflix Movie Review: Aiming For ‘American Pie’, ‘Hammerharte Jungs’ Ends Up Being A Humourless Sex Comedy

Outlook rating
1 / 5

Netflix has released the German film ‘Hammerharte Jungs’ as ‘Hard Feelings’. The film is garnering a lot of buzz on the platform. Is the movie worth your time? Or can you simply skip it? Read the full movie review to find out.

A Still From 'Hard Feelings'
A Still From 'Hard Feelings' Instagram

‘Hard Feelings’: Cast & Crew

Alternate Title: Hammerharte Jungs

Director: Granz Henman

Cast: Tobias Schäfer, Cosima Henman, Samirah Breuer, Louis Jérôme Wagenbrenner, Vivien König, Lilly Joan Gutzeit, Nhung Hong, Maximilian Schneider, Leander Lesotho, Jasmin Shakeri, Merlin Sandmeyer, Doris Golpashin

Available On: Netflix

Duration: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

‘Hard Feelings’: Story

Two best friends try to make it through high school while dealing with embarrassing new urges and their very inconvenient feelings for each other. They get struck by lightning and their lives change completely. Their private parts can now speak to them. Yes, you read that right. What happens next, is what the entire film is about. And for all that, you’ll have to watch the movie.

‘Hard Feelings’: Performances

Tobias Schäfer starts off as the geeky nerd of the class whom everyone makes fun of, but pretty soon he becomes the stud everyone is looking forward to being friends with. Sadly, that transition is so fast that as a viewer you’re not able to see a lot of changes in Schäfer’s performance. Schäfer’s act didn’t bring out the necessary fun and hilarity that’s needed in a sex comedy.

Cosima Henman’s performance is slightly better than Schäfer's. At least she has a character arc where her performance goes through a range of emotions and she is able to portray them decently onscreen. However, even in her performance the sense of humour was missing, and that’s a very important aspect of a sex comedy.

Samirah Breuer, even though had a lesser screen time, justified her performance. From getting the look perfect to her body language, she justifies the character of a snooty snobbish rich pampered girl. One look at her and you would be reminded of similar characters during your school time.

The rest of the supporting cast also doesn’t have any stand-out performance.

‘Hard Feelings’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

Granz Henman’s direction tries the same age-old tricks that he used in the 2002 film, which was sort of a prequel to this film. The same slapstick ways of comedy don’t work anymore in today’s times and fail to elicit the kind of laughter that’s expected. To add to that the writing is still back in the 2000s. There are numerous places where the writing feels like it’s trying too hard to be in today’s time but sadly just feels like old wine in a fancy new bottle and nothing else. The dialogues even aren’t that great to elicit a hilarious reaction from the audience.

The cinematography is pretty much the only salvaging point in the film. The exotic locales added to the minimalistic thought behind the shots make ‘Hard Feelings’ at least worthy of your time.

Clare Dowling’s editing is decent. Even though the story sags in the middle, there are barely any jump cuts, which has become a norm in today’s sex comedies. The smooth presentation helps brings some sort of uniformity to the storyline.

Conrad Oleak’s music is weak and doesn’t manage to get the necessary feeling of a sex comedy. The spunk in the background score is missing.

‘Hard Feelings’: Can Kids Watch It?


Outlook’s Verdict

‘Hard Feelings’ misses out on eliciting laughter which is pretty much the only mandate for a sex comedy. There’s barely much fun. The film tries to reignite the American Pie feel but falls flat on its face and that too miserably. The gags, the dialogues, the body language of the actors – nothing’s as it should be in a sex comedy, or at least a comedy in general. It just feels like a very pushy effort to present some old wine in an expensive new bottle. Sadly, it doesn’t taste that great. Even if you’re a big fan of the sex comedy genre, you can totally Avoid this. I am going with 1 star.