The critics who described Nicole Holofcener's You Hurt My Feelings as a comedy about a trivial subject must be more confident people than I am. The dilemma of Louis-Dreyfus' creative writing teacher Beth, who has just finished her second book, seems all too movie-worthy . Beth experiences a personal and professional crisis at the same time when her husband Don tells her brother-in-law, Mark , that he's just pretending to love his wife's new novel. How long has she been acting like she thinks she's doing well, she? Is it good? Is it important? Beth and Don's previously so close marriage causes their 23-year-old son Eliot to complain about feeling like a third wheel, and Don's own job crisis intensifies He is a psychotherapist who is losing his clients' patience. lack of helpful advice. It's not entirely clear whether the clients are unrealistically demanding, or whether Don's long-suppressed job burnout is making him look terrible. listener Beth's sister Sarah also feels disappointed in her job as an interior designer for the super-rich, while her actor husband considers giving up his career after the spell of frustrating setbacks. You Hurt My Feelings is more than an examination of a single character, it's a chamber piece about a quartet of people struggling with the same common but painful life experience realizing that a few decades into adulthood, one's future may not be that successful. the more satisfying, the more special it leads to hope. This sounds like a sullen theme for a movie, but You Hurt My Feelings makes it both a source of serious contemplation and an exuberant comedy. It's easy to understand why Beth couldn't get over the ego blow of that fateful listening moment - well, the guy lied over 20 drafts about liking the book! - but also, objectively, absurd. As she reluctantly approves of her older sister, she knows she's on good terms with her cozy Manhattan apartment, her devoted partner, and her aimless but loving son. Don's opinion of the manuscript, which was the first to persist after the truth behind his wife's bad mood came to light, is only one reader's reaction. He assures her that he loves her - that's the point, isn't it? “Oh okay. Well then… nevermind!” Beth sniffs before she rages away. While entertaining thanks to Louis-Dreyfus' mastery of the comic book instrument, her grouchy response is childish and self-pitying. But it feels all too right for anyone who has presented the fruits of their creative work to loved ones whose opinions they value. Twenty drafts! Holofcener has already written the screenplay for another great movie about one writer's struggles Can You Ever Forgive Me by Marielle Heller? Creator of dialogue-driven ensemble comedies such as Walking and Talking, Lovely & Amazing, Please Give and the romantic comedy Enough Said, Holofcener is a true writer-director, a filmmaker. films stand out for their attention to nuances in everyday speech and behavior. His screenplays find a way to find humor in all situations and contexts rather than quoteable one-lines. Scenes often finish a beat earlier than they would in a traditional comedy, leaving the audience to fill in the blanks. Although the dialogue is natural, it never comes randomly improvised. Precise language is important, as an insult that Beth mutters to herself over and over in a moment of self-deprecation turns into a refrain put on her head by her long ago verbally abusive father. Just as Louis-Dreyfus is the muse for the middle-aged Holofcener, Catherine Keener is just as fit for the director's early career. Louis-Dreyfus is as fitting as the muse for the middle-aged Holofcener as Catherine Keener is suited for the director's early career both comedians with great timing and a fragility that no blindness can mask. Over the course of nine seasons of Seinfeld and seven of Veep , Louis-Dreyfus has honed his ability to pierce the petty, everyday vanities of his characters. In You Hurt My Feelings, she gets a chance to showcase her expertise as she reveals to us the real pain and confusion that underlies Beth's often maddeningly self-sabotaging behavior. A fixture of prestigious television since the HBO series Rome in the mid-2000s , British actor Menzies is the epitome of Louis-Dreyfus in his outward appearance. the soothing, deeply anxious Don who grapples not only with problems at work but also with a sense of alienation from his own aging body; "I used to be hot," he complains to his wife, squinting at the mirror at his crow's feet. Moayed has fun portraying a hypersensitive prospective actor who could not be more different than Succession's resourceful Stewy, while former Saturday Night Live cast member Watkins is a dry-humored delight as the only member of the film's central quartet to retain some of it. sense of perspective. Someone like Anthony Lane of The New Yorker might dismiss You Hurt My Feelings as a trivial movie about a grouchy, belly-gazing Manhattanite who might make a bout of being "disturbed by cybernetic pterosaurs launching Sidewinder missiles on Madison Avenue." alien poison.” But in a film setting where most options in the multiplex offer pretty much the same plot, the existence and continuity of movies like this seems like something that should be preserved and valued. The main character of this movie goes to great lengths to affirm that the words he spends his days putting down on paper are important. One of the most distinctive and indispensable voices currently working in film comedy, the film's writer-director needn't worry about anything.