Jennifer Lawrence ‘No Hard Feelings’ creators responds to film controversy of parents hiring someone to 'date' son
| Last updated
The team behind Jennifer Lawrence’s latest movie, No Hard Feelings, have responded to the controversy around the parents in the film hiring someone to ‘date’ their son.
And yes, date is in quotation marks. For a reason.
The film sees a mother and father (played by Laura Benanti and Matthew Broderick) put out a Craigslist ad for someone to ‘date’ their particularly awkward 19-year-old son (played by Andrew Barth Feldman) before he heads off to college.
When Jennifer Lawrence’s character Maddie goes to meet the parents in hopes to secure the job and the payment of a car, she says: “Do you mean date him, or date him?”
The dad can’t put the euphemism more bluntly as he answers: “Date him hard," to which the hilarious Maddie promises: “I’ll date him hard.”
Although reviewers and movie-goers are loving this hilarious new film, not everyone is rolling about laughing at this premise, as it’s caused a bit of a controversy.
Some are hitting out that it feels a little creepy that a 32-year-old character is tasked with seducing the young high school graduate.
But as it turns out, No Hard Feelings is based on a real ad the producers came across.
Producer Marc Provissiero was first attempting to make a movie out of helicopter parenting - a parenting method which sees parents be highly involved in their child's life - but couldn’t quite land a story.
But then, fellow producer Naomi Odenkirk showed him the ad.
“I had drinks with Gene [the writer-director] about six months later,” Provissiero tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Halfway through the dinner I remembered this Craigslist ad that Naomi brought in six months earlier.
"And he didn’t believe me, and he made me dig it up and show it to him on my phone. And, he said, ‘I’ll write this for you on spec'.”
Helicopter parenting is the main idea of using this ad in the storyline, as the producers call it a ‘very satirical look’ at what happens when parents carry on like this for too long.
The team promise people won’t find the funny film 'creepy' when they see it, with Gene Stupnitsky saying: “If you feel that way when you come out of the movie, I would be surprised.
"We took great pains to be careful about the ick factor because it could go that way. We took a humanist approach and I think that’s all you can ask for.”
Natalie Morales, who plays Maddie’s bestie in the film, says of the age difference between the characters: "Have you seen The Graduate? [Lawrence is] supposed to be playing an older woman.
"There are so many movies where the male lead is much older than the female lead, and TV shows especially, and nobody bats an eye. So what’s the difference.”
Topics: TV And Film