Photo courtesy of Brian McKnight

Clear your calendars for the holiday weekend ahead for concerts, cultural festivities, and more can’t-miss happenings. Frolic in the sunflowers at Traders Village or see top musical talent live on some of the most-loved stages in Alamo City and beyond. Check out the top seven things to do in San Antonio this weekend. For a full list of events, visit our calendar.

Thursday, May 25

Briscoe Western Art Museum presents "Southwest Rising: Contemporary Art and the Legacy of Elaine Horwitch" Preview Party
Be among the first to view the newest Briscoe Western Art Museum exhibition showcasing the collected works of late American art dealer Elaine Horwitch. Esteemed guests Bisco President and CEO Michael Duchemin, Ph.D., and curator of "Southwest Rising" Dr. Julie Sasse will be in attendance among the partygoers. Tickets to the preview party include complimentary valet, specialty cocktails, light bites, beer, and wine.

Friday, May 26

Traders Village presents Sunflower Field
A seasonal San Antonio tradition is back in full bloom for locals and visitors alike to experience. Traders Village features 10 acres of sunflower fields lining paths and mazes for guests to wander through at their leisure. Other activities include a petting zoo, photo opportunities, and an inflatable slide. The sunflower field will open through June 18. For more information, visit tradersvillage.com.

Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club presents Jamie Kennedy
Entertainer and multihyphenate talent Jamie Kennedy takes up weekend residence at The Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club. Kennedy is best known for his roles in Wes Craven’s Scream and Scream 2, which catapulted him to scene-stealing fame. Shows are scheduled through May 28.

An Evening with Brian McKnight
Singer-songwriter and R&B star Brian McKnight serenades fans live in concert at Majestic Theatre for one night only. McKnight has released 19 albums throughout his 25-year career and is a 16-time Grammy-nominated artist. He’s best known for hit songs like “Hold Me” and “Anytime.” Get seating information on Ticketmaster.

Saturday, May 27

Spoon in concert
Spoon comes to New Braunfels’ Whitewater Amphitheater in support of their 2022 album, Lucifer on the Sofa. The Austin-based band is best known for songs like “Inside Out” and “Don’t You Evah.” Get additional concert information on Ticketweb.

UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures presents Asian Festival
The University of Texas at San Antonio invites visitors to the downtown campus for the first Asian Festival since the pandemic. Guests can feast on authentic food while enjoying multicultural performances, crafts, music, and more. Get a schedule of events and festival tickets at asianfestivalsa.org.

Kool & The Gang in concert
Groovin’ soul band Kool & The Gang comes to San Antonio’s Majestic Theatre in support of their 2021 album, Perfect Union. The musical band of biological brothers and longtime friends is behind timeless classics such as “Get Down on It” and “Ladies Night” and has amassed fans around the world since forming in 1964. Buy tickets on majesticempire.com.

Brian McKnight
Photo courtesy of Brian McKnight

Brian McKnight performs live in concert at Majestic Theatre this Friday.

Photo by Alexander Devora Photography

Here are the top 5 things to do in San Antonio this weekend

Weekend Event Guide

A fairy tale comes to life on stage, movie credits roll under the stars, and live music fills local venues in the Alamo City. Check out the top five things to do in San Antonio this weekend. For a full list of events, visit our calendar.

Thursday, May 11

Children's Ballet of San Antonio presents Sleeping Beauty
Photo by Alexander Devora Photography

Children's Ballet of San Antonio presents Sleeping Beauty on May 12.

McNay Art Museum presents "Off the Wall: Posters as Art"
A treasured and highly-curated collection of posters by some of the lithographic art form’s most striking talents are on display at the McNay Art Museum. Visitors can explore Charles Gesmar’s Mistinguett, a number of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s posters, and more works from Alphonse Mucha, Pierre Bonnard, and others. Following opening weekend, the exhibition is on display through July 30.

Tobin Center presents An Intimate Evening with David Foster & Katharine McPhee
Musical duo and standalone stars David Foster and Katharine McPhee bring their virtual Instagram show to a live audience at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. The set list includes a variety of hit songs from Foster’s writing repertoire made famous by stars like Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, and Michael Bublé. Get ticketing details at tobincenter.org.

Friday, May 12

The Children's Ballet of San Antonio presents Sleeping Beauty
The romantic story of a slumbering princess who is awakened by true love’s kiss receives Broadway-level treatment at the Majestic Theatre. Audiences will be captivated by a blend of dance, live music, special effects, and interactive elements during this enchanting performance. All ages are welcome. Shows are scheduled through May 13. For tickets, check Ticketmaster.

Billy Porter in concert
Multi-hyphenate entertainer and icon Billy Porter comes to Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in support of his first pop music concert tour. Fans can enjoy a 90-minute performance that shares moments of Porter’s life through songs like "Love Is on the Way" and "Love Yourself.” For ticket availability and seating options, check tobincenter.org.

Tobin Center for the Performing Arts presents Cinema on Will's Plaza
Round up a few friends or family members and enjoy a free movie night under the stars at The Plaza at the Tobin Center. This month’s featured Cinema on Will’s Plaza film is Billy Elliott the Musical. Guests are encouraged to arrive early and bring their own lawn chairs or blankets to ensure good outdoor seats. A full bar and concessions will be available to make the movie night complete. For a schedule of movie screenings, visit tobincenter.org. Admission is free.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

San Antonio Public Library honors the legacy of late, great Latino artist Jesse Treviño

An artist's legacy

For one night only, the San Antonio Public Library will host a panel with special guests honoring the life of the late, great Latino artist and Vietnam War veteran Jesse Treviño.

Treviño, who passed away in February 2023, often utilized the city of San Antonio as his artistic muse, centering many of his artistic works around the beauty of San Antonio's rich and diverse Hispanic community.

The library panel, titled, "Su Vida y Arte," will be moderated by Ellen Riojas Clark, PhD, a UTSA Professor Emeritus and a close friend of Treviño's.

Participants in the panel honoring Treviño's artistic legacy include KLRN's "On the Record" host and award-winning anchor Randy Beamer, President/CEO of the Avenida Guadalupe Association, Gabriel Quintero Velasquez, Anthony Head, the author of the book Spirit: The Life and Art of Jesse Treviño, and finally Cesar Martinez, a military veteran and Chicano artist who was one of Treviño's contemporaries.

Velasquez and Beamer were also close friends of Treviño.

The panel is free and open to the public, and will run on Wednesday, May 10, from 6-8:30 pm at the Central Library. If you miss the panel discussion, you still have an opportunity to view one of Treviño's greatest art pieces, titled, "Mi Vida," at the Central Library. The 14 by 8 foot autobiographical painting will be on display at the library for two years, thanks to a generous loan from art collector Cindy Gabriel.

Department of Arts & Culture Executive Director Krystal Jones said in an official press release, "We are honored to host Jesse’s esteemed colleagues on this panel in a format that is free and open to all because he made art accessible to all – in large scale formats that truly show the values and themes that many San Antonians resonate with."

Jones added, "However, his work transcends beyond just one community or group. Mexican Americans, veterans, survivors, people who deal with mental health issues and more can truly see themselves reflected in his collection of his works. We are grateful for his legacy and contributions.”

Courtesy of MBAW

May heats up with 7 sizzling exhibits in San Antonio

State of the Arts

Construction workers, topiary dragons, and Southwest pop art — these are just a few of the topics explored this month at galleries and museums across San Antonio. Visitors are invited to discover a mother and daughter’s story from labor camp imprisonment to liberation captured in images at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, or dive into common imagery of dream consciousness at AnArte Gallery through the work of Andrea Broyles. Meanwhile, Ruby City gives us a meditative multi-screen film installation by Isaac Julien called “Fantôme Afrique.” All in all, San Antonians can rejoice at the many options for ardent art fans this May.

Holocaust Memorial Museum

"Two Regimes: A Mother’s Memoir of Wartime Survival" — Now through May 21
“Two Regimes” is the life’s work of two Ukrainian women; Teodora Verbitskaya, who wrote about her life from 1920 to 1945, and her daughter, Nadia Werbitzky, a professionally trained artist who painted from memory. They both witnessed the Holodomor, or Great Famine genocide from 1932-1933, when millions of Ukrainians were starved to death as a result of Soviet Union policies, and the Holocaust in Mariupol, Ukraine, in 1941. Verbitskaya and her two daughters were sent to Germany to serve as slave laborers until the forced labor camps were liberated by United States troops in 1945. Eventually, they emigrated to Canada after spending time in displaced persons camps. The paintings in this exhibit are by Werbitzky and are based on the “Two Regime’s” book, written to validate the lives of those Ukrainians, Jews, Greeks, and others whose lives were lost and whose voices were silenced forever.

Bihl Haus Arts

Mary Helwick: Hard Hats: Portraits of Construction” — Now through May 30
A series of portraits of 18 construction workers, including the artist herself, are included in “Hard Hats” where Mary Helwick’s focus was on capturing the workers’ individual traits while playing with color to create a vibrancy and synergy between the faces and backgrounds. “Although not the usual subject matter associated with portraiture, it’s been a privilege to paint this group of light-hearted and lively co-workers,” she says in a statement.

MBAW Art Gallery

Gwen Rhea Cowden: Looking for Spring” — Now through July 31
“Looking for Spring” includes 40 works by artist Gwen Rhea Cowden (G. Rhea) created over a lifetime of artmaking, ranging from intimate figure studies and quiet still lifes, to the active dynamism and gesture of line drawings, and the layered bursts of color, shape, and texture contained in wild garden scenes. Transformed through the artist’s selective vision, each image evokes the little mysteries and moments of awe in the world around us, if only we take the time to witness them.

San Antonio Botanical Garden

"Imaginary Worlds: One Upon a Time" — Now through January 2024
Meet the larger-than-life, whimsical sculptures created by Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Unearth a massive dragon towering nearly 25 feet in the Lucile Halsell Conservatory, a mermaid lounging in the Hill Country, and a parading peacock in the Rose Garden. Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal is an international competition and exhibition, which has gained numerous prizes and distinctions.


"Andrea Broyles: Dream State" — May 11 through June 4
Andrea Broyles' new body of work explores common imagery of dream consciousness through washes of veiled color and vigorous mark-making techniques. Broyles is a contemporary figurative painter and sculptor whose work explores and is based on the human condition, specifically emotionality, mortality, and conflict. Broyles works her paintings in a variety of media (clay, plaster, and oil on board), offering ambiguous, enigmatic narratives drawn from her life to resonate with the viewer on many levels.

Ruby City

"Isaac Julien: Fantôme Afrique" — May 11 through July 25
“Fantôme Afrique" references the French colonial powers that forcibly shaped the West African country of Burkina Faso and the country’s self-determined response in the aftermath of occupation. Isaac Julien is internationally known for his poetic, meditative, multi-screen film installations and photographs, which reflect his long-term study of film history and production. With both lyrical and descriptive power, Julien’s works reveal the complexities of contemporary human experience alongside historical events.

Briscoe Western Art Museum

mbaw gallery

Courtesy of MBAW

Southwest Rising: Contemporary Art and the Legacy of Elaine Horwitch” — May 26 through September 4
A significant force in contemporary art from the early 1970s until her death in 1991, Elaine Horwitch was instrumental in bringing experimental styles such as pop art, minimalism, and conceptual art to the Southwest. With galleries across Arizona, New Mexico, and California, she was a leader in fostering what has been called “new Western art” or “Southwest pop," and this new exhibit highlights the works of some of the Elaine Horwitch Galleries’ most popular artists.

Photo by Jono Foley

Texas artists cover a San Antonio legend and more on new collaborative album for state parks

Hey Baby, Que Paso?

The sounds of Texas are as varied as Willie's guitar and the cooing of a roadrunner. (Contrary to popular belief, it is a coo rather than an old fashioned car horn). Even as Texas has become more urban, it'd be silly to separate its musical heritage from the wide open spaces that inspired so much art to come. One album this fall explores and commemorates musical identity in the Lone Star State from its past, its present, and the from Texas wild, which happens to lend its name to the project. And the first single, out May 2, kicks things off in a fittingly hybrid style that will delight listeners of all genres.

Texas Wild is part of the 100 Years of Texas State Parks Celebration, which has inspired a long string of onsite (and offsite) events in Texas parks all year. The party is now bringing the whole state together for one united musical endeavor (released by Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) in partnership with Rambler Sparkling Water). So far, 16 artists from around the state have covered tracks from older Texas artists that influenced some of the state's defining genres: blues, cumbia, country, hip-hop, R&B, electronica, and possibly more.

The first single gives the Houston treatment to a San Antonio classic, "(Hey Baby) Que Paso." Originally written by members of the Sir Douglas Quintet, the bouncy Tex-Mex track was popularized by Tejano group Texas Tornados, and retains much of its good-natured inquisitiveness (que paso?) when sung by rapper Fat Tony. The instrumentation is much funkier, but this cover is about as faithful as they come without being direct copies — until the rap verses hit. Paul Wall joins in and the "San Antonio national anthem," in Doug Sahm's words, is fit for any summer block party across the state 40 years later.

While Paul Wall reps Houston, more big names on the record include Shakey Graves (Austin), and Ray Wylie Hubbard (Dallas), and even the smaller fish in this particular pond are making big waves in the industry. Although the album is regionally well-balanced among big cities, there's only so much the Live Music Capital can do to keep from pulling focus.

Many of the contributions are by Austin artists, including the overall production headed by local singer-songwriter Walker Lukens, who has faithfully proved his skill in bringing retro sounds sincerely to life. Other Austin contributions in both performance and songwriting come from Sir Woman, Adrian Quesada, Daniel Johnston, Willie Nelson, and more — not to mention those who shared their talent largely in Austin without spending their entire career, like the legendary Townes Van Zandt.

"Texas Wild is an album that encompasses that wild, untamed spirit for which Texas is best known," said TPWF executive director Anne Brown in a press release. "Incredible artists from across the state have come together to put their unique stamp on Texas classics, resulting in an exciting playlist that music fans will want to play on repeat. We're thankful for the many talented artists who made this extraordinary album possible."

If this first track is any indication, this album should appeal to many of its contributors' fans regardless of their interest in Texas history or local pride. Still, Texans heard it first, and should look out for two more singles in June and July, followed by the entire album in digital or vinyl formats in the fall. Texas illustrator Mishka Westell created the cover art featuring Texas wildlife, and sales will benefit TPWF.

Tracks announced so far on Texas Wild:

  • Fat Tony featuring Paul Wall — “(Hey Baby) Que Paso” (Original Track: Sir Douglas Quintet)
  • The Texas Gentlemen — "(That's Right) You're Not From Texas" (Original Track: Lyle Lovett)
  • Shane Smith and The Saints featuring Hayes Carll — "Pancho and Lefty" (Original Track: Townes Van Zandt)
  • LUNA LUNA — “Si Una Vez” (Original Track: Selena Quintanilla)
  • Ryan Bingham — "Possum Kingdom" (Original Track: The Toadies)
  • The Suffers — "My Maria" (Original Track: B.W. Stevenson)
  • Shakey Graves featuring Jess Williamson — "True Love Will Find You In The End" (Original Track: Daniel Johnston)
  • Sir Woman featuring Ray Wylie Hubbard — "Texas Sun" (Original Track: Khruangbin and Leon Bridges)
  • Adrian Quesada featuring US and The Soul Supporters — "Say My Name" (Original Track: Destiny’s Child)
  • Sarah Jaffe — "Flying Too Close To The Ground" (Original Track: Willie Nelson)
  • The Toadies — "Since You've Been Gone" (Original Track: Kelly Clarkson)
Photo by Prod 77 Luminaria/ Facebook

Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival dazzles San Antonio with new fall date


One of San Antonio’s most dazzling happenings is preparing to once again light up downtown. San Antonio nonprofit Luminaria has revealed the date for the 2023 Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival and is seeking artists to illuminate one of fall’s most anticipated events.

For its 15th anniversary year, the festivities will move from November to October 21 from 6 pm-midnight. Featured works and performances will snake around Hemisfair and the Henry B. González Convention Center, highlighting Alamo City’s diverse arts scene.

Along with the announcement, the nonprofit opened applications for artists. The festival accepts submissions from various disciplines, including performance art, digital art, spoken word, film, sculpture, theatre, and dance.

A panel of local art experts will assess each application, considering inclusivity and whether the work will be premiering at the fest, among other factors. Applications must be submitted by March 26. The final lineup will be announced in the fall.

Last year, the festival hosted 7,000 attendees, giving exposure to more than 250 individual artists. Although some of the creators hailed from as far as Europe and South America, the majority are based in the San Antonio area. More information can be found online.

“As a true signature event for the city, this is a wonderful opportunity for the talented and diverse artists of San Antonio to have professional exposure and spark their own creative juices,” said Krystal Jones, director of the City’s Department of Arts & Culture, via arelease.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

New self-serve electric vehicle rental at the San Antonio Airport is great for drivers who pay attention

the future of rentals

Visitors to San Antonio now have an easy and environmentally friendly way to get around. UFO Drive, a rental company with an all-electric fleet, has "landed" in Alamo City, according to a release, and is ready to beam renters up — as long as they give 48-hour notice.

Cars can be picked up from the San Antonio International Airport "or anywhere within the TX Loop 410," made easy by a remote process that walks users through the pickup process on their phones. The service is completely contactless, which comes in handy for travelers who don't want to wait in lines, hear long spiels, or visit during office hours.

The down side, as detailed in this overall favorable review of an Austin-to-Houston trip, is really up to the user: Can you pay attention to the how-to emails, or do you need someone there to show you the ropes?

The following has been reproduced from CultureMap Austin, as published on February 1, 2023.

This Tesla rental service got me from Austin to Houston, despite my best efforts:
Reader, my car was stolen. I know that’s not a cool note to start on, but it’s the truth. A few months ago, my white Hyundai Elantra was recovered on Ben White Boulevard with an egregiously ugly, half-finished paint job and a deathly rattle in the engine. This put me in a vulnerable position, not just for getting around (thanks, CapMetro), but for falling in love with cars way outside my price range.

UFODrive (stylized UFODRIVE), a self-service car rental company with an all-electric fleet, must have sensed my predicament, because a publicist probed my inbox with an offer to borrow a sleek Tesla X or Y for a weekend trip. The timing couldn't have been better, and not just for my Austin transport needs, but because the CultureMap Austin team had a Houston meeting to attend — an excellent excuse to hop in a new ride and try out the service.

This rental company has seven locations in the United States, but only one in Texas so far, meaning round trips would be necessary to return the car. (The website does not allow a multi-city return, even if you’re up for a very long drive.) Previously exclusive to Europe, the company's United States leg is catching up. Their website boasts 20 million “clean miles” driven by renters, and more than 2 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions saved.

Ideals aside, the most obvious draw to this kind of service — the self-service exchange — held up, although it does present its own challenges. Everything happens through the UFODrive app. Pickup and drop-off were easy with no lines, no salespeople, and most importantly, 24/7 service. The downside, for a chaotic traveler, is everything takes some time to figure out if you don’t read everything very carefully (a simple solution, really, but easier said than done.)

Nothing was confusing for more than a few minutes. The phone app locks, unlocks, and starts the car. It only took a few tries to realize the vehicle turns itself off automatically when in park with no one inside. Everything from the online booking to reporting pre-existing damage was an easy step-by-step form. (The car was immaculate, anyway.)

My biggest problem was learning how to operate a Tesla Y on intuition alone — I wouldn’t have needed rental agency staff to teach me about just about any gas-powered vehicle, but I would have liked to get a quick rundown for my first time operating this sleek spacecraft. Maybe a more tech-inclined driver wouldn’t have taken a full minute to figure out how to put the thing in drive. I wouldn’t know; there wasn't one available.

Thankfully, these machines are intuitive once a driver starts trusting the "push buttons and find out" technique, although we never did find cruise control. The only time we almost faced a consequence for this improvisational approach was when I looked at the battery upon entering Houston and saw we were at 1 percent — an awful, single digit number I did not think we’d creep up on for another hundred miles. The low-battery notification had gone to my email, unnoticed during the drive.

The UFODrive app first took me to a charger that was out of service, and I’m glad I thought to check the vehicle’s dashboard screen for my second try. The car displayed not just charging stations, but their status, including how many bays were left and whether or not they were in service. After an incoming call from a well-meaning UFODrive employee who saw my low battery but could not possibly know where every charger in Houston was, I ended up backing into a charging station at 1 percent battery.

Charging — the act, itself — was very easy. UFODrive handles the whole thing and covers the fee, so it’s as simple as plugging in, waiting, and driving away. Having seen the detail on the dashboard screen about chargers (as well as a notification when we were about to leave range), I would feel confident booking a longer trip through the service.

And for my fellow roadtrippers, I'd just encourage a thorough read of the emailed materials — or at least this laundry list of minor snags. Fill out the forms early, check emails often, and put in just a few minutes of planning to keep charging smooth and convenient. An organized traveler may make it to Houston with a shining track record of no awkward moments at all.

Breathtaking Hill Country hideaway is lone Texas star on Vrbo's top 10 vacation homes in the U.S.


A magnificently hidden home located just an hour and a half away from San Antonio has been chosen as one of Vrbo's "Vacation Homes of the Year" for 2023. It was the only Texas home chosen out hundreds of thousands of private residences on the vacation rental site.

The Vacation Homes of the Year showcases several popular homes throughout the country (with the occasional international spot) that range from "idyllic lakeside escapes to cozy mountain retreats and desert paradises." In all, two homes are based in California, and one each in Arizona, North Carolina, Oregon, New York, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Colorado, and Mexico.

Texas' Hill Country Riverfront Hideaway is tucked away on five acres of land bordering the Pedernales River in Dripping Springs. The home spans 2,150 square feet with an open-concept living area, three spacious bedrooms, two lavish bathrooms, a modern chef's kitchen, fireplace, and a breathtaking wrap-around terrace.

Floor-to-ceiling windows complete the space, allowing guests to take in all of the tranquility the Hill Country has to offer. With the home's 430 feet of river access, visitors can enjoy escaping the city and relax into the views of the vast canyon below.

Dripping Springs Riverfront HideawayImagine a getaway to this Hill Country paradise. Photo courtesy of Vrbo

The property is within a half hour drive to many of the finest wineries, breweries, and must-see outdoor recreation spots in Dripping Springs. Fredericksburg is only an hour's drive west for those wanting to head deeper into the Hill Country, and downtown Austin is an hour's drive to the east.

The average nightly cost for the riverfront oasis is $475, making it an ideal destination for small groups, a family trip, or a couple's getaway.

Dripping Springs Riverfront Hideaway

Photo courtesy of Vrbo

The Hill Country Riverfront Hideaway was the only Texas home chosen on Vrbo's list.

Expedia Brands president Jon Gieselman shared in a press release that there were plenty of eye-catching homes to wade through for the report.

"This year’s Vacation Homes of the Year range from an urban oasis and a cozy ranch home under $400 a night to a beachfront estate that can sleep the whole family and more," said Gieselman. "Every single Vacation Home of the Year has a beautiful view, and combined boast seven private pools and fire pits, eight hot tubs and even five putting greens."

The full list of Vrbo's 2023 Vacation Homes of the Year are:

  • No. 1 – The Oasis Estate in Palm Springs, California
  • No. 2 – The Happy Roadrunner in Phoenix, Arizona
  • No. 3 – The Chasestone in Lake Norman, North Carolina
  • No. 4 – The Contemporary Gem in Manzanita, Oregon
  • No. 5 – Ocean View Oasis in Montauk, New York
  • No. 6 – The Riverfront Hideaway in Dripping Springs, Texas
  • No. 7 – 30A My Way in Rosemary Beach, Florida
  • No. 8 – Port of Call in Isle of Palms, South Carolina
  • No. 9 – Salmonfly Lodge in Victor, Idaho
  • No. 10 – Trestle House in Winter Park, Colorado
  • No. 11 – Villa Luna Nueva in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
More information about Vrbo's 2023 Vacation Homes of the Year can be found on their website.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus navigates marriage pitfalls in You Hurt My Feelings

Movie Review

Anybody who’s been married or in a long-term relationship knows that it’s almost impossible to be completely honest with his or her partner. There are always going to be moments – whether for the sake of expediency, in a show of support, or other reasons – when one person withholds their true opinion so as not to hurt the other person’s feelings.

That idea is the central tension point of You Hurt My Feelings, which follows Beth (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a writer/teacher, and her husband, Don (Tobias Menzies), a therapist. Beth is in the middle of trying to get her first fiction book published, a process that is causing her unceasing anxiety. Don sees a series of patients, including a constantly-bickering couple (played by real-life husband and wife David Cross and Amber Tamblyn), and a few lapses cause him to question his commitment to the profession.

When Beth and her sister, Sarah (Michaela Watkins), accidentally overhear Don telling his brother-in-law, Mark (Arian Moayed), that he doesn’t like Sarah’s new book and is exhausted having to tell her otherwise, it sends Beth into an emotional spiral. The aftermath winds up pulling in not just the two couples, but also Beth and Don’s son, Eliot (Owen Teague), dredging up feelings that all of them normally try to keep hidden.

Written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, the film is a funny and genuine look at how even the best couples can run into pitfalls. By most measures, Beth and Don get along fantastically well, supporting each other unwaveringly and showing their love in a variety of ways. When the story puts them at odds with each other, there’s never a question that they belong together, as even their arguments are tinged with exasperation instead of anger.

Holofcener complements the story of Beth and Don with a nice variety of side plots, including Eliot trying to start his own writing career while working at a weed store; Beth and Sarah’s mom, Georgia (Jeannie Berlin), offering up support and criticism in equal measures; and more. Don’s patients and Beth’s students offer an opportunity to expand the two characters’ personalities outside of their marriage while also adding a few other funny roles.

While perhaps not the most insightful film about marriage that’s ever been made, it is still highly enjoyable thanks to Holofcener’s writing and the strong performances. Filmed in New York City, the particular feel of that urban landscape and the way it affects the lives of the characters also plays a big part in the success of the film.

Louis-Dreyfus, as always, is a delight to watch. A kind of spiritual sequel to her previous collaboration with Holofcener, 2013’s Enough Said, the film gives her plenty of room to show off both her comedic and dramatic skills. Menzies makes for a steady presence, showing good chemistry with Louis-Dreyfus and a preternatural calm in therapy sessions. Watkins, Moayed, Teague, and Berlin all fit in seamlessly.

You Hurt My Feelings is not a world-changing kind of movie, but rather a solidly-told story about how relationships can be complicated. With actors who are easy to like and Holofcener’s reliably great filmmaking, it’s a movie for adults that’s nice counter-programming to the glut of summer blockbusters.


You Hurt My Feelings is now playing in theaters.

Tobias Menzies and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in You Hurt My Feelings

Photo courtesy of A24

Tobias Menzies and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in You Hurt My Feelings.