No Hard Feelings ending explained

Lucy-Jo Finnighan
no hard feelings still

Jennifer Lawrence’s newest comedy No Hard Feelings has a pretty raunchy plot, but how does it end? Read on, and we’ll explain.

No Hard Feelings is an R-rated comedy movie, with raunchy gags and two coming-of-age stories for Lawrence’s character – who has arrested development – and her co-star, who is playing an actual teenager.

The official plot for the film is this: “On the brink of losing her childhood home, a desperate woman agrees to date a wealthy couple’s introverted and awkward 19-year-old son before he leaves for college.”

While we didn’t love the film here at Dexerto – you can read our review here – you may still be interested in how the movie ends. So let us explain, and of course, MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!

What happens in No Hard Feelings?

Through the many trailers for the film, you may be wondering: Why is a 32-year-old willing to date a 19-year-old, and isn’t this kind of icky? To answer the latter question: Yes, and the movie often pokes fun at this. To answer the former, the answer is simple: Gentrification.

See, the movie is set in Montauk, where the locals are being priced out by rich families buying holiday homes and driving up taxes. Maddie (Jennifer Lawrence)is one of these locals, and due to being unable to pay taxes, the film begins with her car being towed. To make matters worse, one of her multiple jobs is as an Uber driver, and without it she won’t be able to keep payments on her late mother’s house.

In order to get another car, Maddie answers an ad taken out by two rich parents. Being helicopter parents, they want to keep tabs on their son, Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman) and lament how he needs to come out of his shell before he goes off to Princeton. They believe hiring a girlfriend to date him and getting him to have sex with her will “open him up,” and Maddie seems perfect for the job.

However, said dating doesn’t go particularly well, as Percy maces Maddie when they first meet because he thinks she’s kidnapping him. Things don’t get much better: when the pair go skinny dipping, three teens steal their clothes and Maddie has to fight them all naked. Then, with Percy on the hood of the car, Maddie must out-run some cops by driving in front of a moving train. On top of that, Percy’s old nanny has it out for Maddie, and later tries to threaten her.

One memorable shenanigan is when the pair hold a fake prom, but then have a fight, and Percy storms off to a Princeton party. When Maddie finds him there, he believes that he has overdosed on a pill (a single ibuprofen) and accidentally punches her in the throat when attempting to defend her from someone else. Throughout all this, Maddie keeps failing to seduce Percy sexually, as he clearly isn’t ready.

However, in spite of it all, the pair do grow closer. Maddie finds Percy sweet and endearing, and Percy – who has grown more confident – begins to legitimately fall in love with Maddie, to the point that he refuses to go to Princeton without her. However, things go south when Percy, using his dad’s car’s Bluetooth, overhears a phone conversation between his parents and Maddie, and discovers the whole scheme.

How does No Hard Feelings end?

This is a “Liar revealed” plotline, however, Percy doesn’t let on that he knows just yet. In fact, he invites Maddie to “meet” his parents, insults her the whole time, and then sneaks out to wreck the car that Maddie had been working towards.

He then sulks off to his room. Maddie goes to check on him, and in a rather uncomfortable scene, the pair do end up having sex (though there is no penetration as Percy finishes immediately) before the whole truth finally comes out. Percy is bitter and heartbroken, but Maddie reminds him that she had to do this or else she could lose her home.

However, one through line of the film is that Maddie doesn’t really need the house; she could always sell it for a profit, however she is too emotionally attached to her home because of her parents. See, the house was given to her mother from her absent father as hush money. The dad, who had been a rich man on holiday with his family, had an affair with Maddie’s mother and Maddie was the result. While Maddie had attempted to contact her father, he had never responded, and Percy states that Maddie is so attached to the house because she’s hoping her father will one day walk through the door.

This seems cruel, but Maddie’s friends, who are expecting a baby, agree in a way. And thus, Maddie decides to sell the house at a discount to said friends, as they are being priced out from the town as well. She then takes the money and plans to drive to California, with the (very beat up) car that she got from Percy’s family.

But before she moves, she heads to a Princeton mixer to fix things with Percy. At first, he tries to drive away, but in a full-circle moment, she jumps on the hood of the car, and he ends up driving the vehicle into the ocean. The pair look on at the wreckage, and finally reconcile.

Percy is able to convince his parents to give him space and to not try to fix every aspect of his life. He doesn’t let them drive him to Princeton, instead Maddie does, and the pair embark on their road trip towards their future lives, as the credits begin to roll.

No Hard Feelings is now in cinemas. Check out our other coverage of the film below:

No Hard Feelings release date, cast, plot & more | No Hard Feelings Review | Does No Hard Feelings have a post-credits scene? | How to watch No Hard Feelings – is it streaming? | No Hard Feelings: The surprising true storyNo Hard Feelings cast: All actors & characters

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About The Author

Lucy-Jo is a Movies and TV Writer at Dexerto, and has previously written for Screen Rant and Girls on Tops. After earning a Master's Degree in Film and Literature, Lucy-Jo now loves covering films, TV shows, and anime, especially if it's something by Mike Flanagan, or anything drenched in camp. You can contact her at