You Hurt My Feelings: Is the Movie Based on Real People?

‘You Hurt My Feelings’ is a comedydrama film that centers around Beth, an author, and her husband Dan, who is a psychiatrist. Both are moderately happy in their marriage, with Beth working on her novel and Dan supporting her unconditionally from the sidelines. But when Beth starts to doubt her creative abilities, her husband admits to the bitter truth – that he doesn’t like what she had written so far. Feeling betrayed, Beth starts to wonder if everything else Dan had told her is a lie as well, which puts a strain on their marriage.

Directed by Nicole Holofcener, the film stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tobias Menzies in the lead roles. ‘You Hurt My Feelings’ delves into the complexity of co-existing and the compromises that come with it in order to lead a peaceful life. But is there any truth behind the marriage depicted in the film? Look no further, for we have the answers for you!

You Hurt My Feelings is Not a True Story

No, ‘You Hurt My Feelings’ is not based on a true story. However, director Nicole Holofcener was inspired by a moment in her life as a student. “I was screening my student film. My first short, that was way too long. I thought it was going really well with this big audience. And I heard a schoolmate behind me say, ‘Ugh, when is this going to end?’ That was painful. And clearly, I still remember it. And he was right – it was a pretty sappy, way-too-long short film,” the director told The Playlist.

Having stated that, ‘You Hurt My Feelings’ isn’t a one-off from this particular instance either; echoes of Holofcener’s film ‘Walking and Talking’ can be seen in the story as well, in which emotions run at an all-time high for a particular character when they overhear somebody voice their actual thoughts. To portray the character of Beth in the film, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus was the first choice for Nicole, who pitched the idea to the former and Dreyfus agreed to it immediately.

Much of the film depends on the on-screen chemistry between Beth and Dan, who are a couple that has been married for about 25 years. They know almost everything about each other and are good parents, which makes the revelation that her husband doesn’t like her work more jarring than it would have been coming from a friend, a distant relative, or a random person she bumped into outside.

Speaking on how they accomplished creating that level of intimacy and trust between Beth and Dan with ScreenRant, the actress said, “We didn’t have any time. I was a huge admirer of Tobias’ work for quite a long time, and then when we had the chance to work together, we didn’t have any opportunity to really rehearse. I think we had one day of reading scenes, and so on and so forth, but we did get to talk about our understanding of the script and the understanding of the relationship between these two characters.”

She added, “We were very much in line with how we wanted to do that together, and the tone of it, so we hit the ground running, and fortunately, we were simpatico.” While not a true story, ‘You Hurt My Feelings’ does reflect aspects of long-lasting relationships from real life. It depicts the little and the big white lies people sometimes tell their partner in order to live peacefully and to spare the ones they love to not sweat the small stuff. However, when it comes to one’s career and dreams, it’s better to be honest about it.

Read More: Where Was You Hurt My Feelings Filmed?