Watch You Hurt My Feelings
- 1 hr 36 min
You Hurt My Feelings is a 2011 independent film that follows the lives of three people, all struggling in their own way. John Merriman stars as Jon, a lonely and introverted caretaker who spends most of his time caring for an elderly man. Courtney Davis plays Holly, a kindergarten teacher who is trying to move on from a painful breakup. Macon Blair rounds out the trio as Don, an aspiring writer who is having trouble finishing his first novel. The film takes place in Austin, Texas, and is beautifully shot. The city is an ever-present backdrop to the story, with shots of its skyline and streets capturing the feeling of the place. The film is quiet and introspective, with long stretches of silence that allow the characters' innermost thoughts and feelings to come to the surface. John Merriman is fantastic as Jon, a man who is clearly in pain but does not know how to express it. He spends his days going through the motions of his caretaker job, but it is clear that he is not happy. He finds solace in his own world, made up of homemade videos and various knick-knacks, but it is not enough to fill the void in his life. Merriman's performance is subtle and nuanced, and he is able to convey the character's emotional turmoil without ever resorting to histrionics. Courtney Davis gives a heartbreaking performance as Holly, a woman who is trying to find her way after a devastating breakup. She throws herself into her job as a kindergarten teacher, but it is clear that she is struggling to keep it together. Davis has a natural warmth and likability that makes the viewer root for her, even as she makes mistakes and bad decisions. Her scenes with Merriman are especially powerful, as the two damaged souls connect in a way that is both touching and uncomfortable. Macon Blair is excellent as Don, a man who is trying to find his place in the world as a writer. He is filled with self-doubt and insecurity, but he is also fiercely determined to make it. Blair has a natural charm and wit that makes the character likable, even as he flounders. His scenes with Davis are especially good, as the two engage in a flirty but ultimately doomed romance. The film is directed by Steve Collins, who also wrote the screenplay. His direction is understated and gentle, allowing the actors to shine without ever getting in the way. The film's pacing is slow and meditative, but it never feels dull or plodding. Instead, it allows the viewer to sink into the world of the characters and experience their pain and joy alongside them. Overall, You Hurt My Feelings is a quiet gem of a film that deserves to be seen. It is a poignant meditation on loneliness, love, and human connection, told with grace and sensitivity. The performances are uniformly excellent, and the direction is assured and confident. It is a film that will stay with you long after the credits roll.