Hard Feelings Plot Summary
Say hello to my little friend! So said Al Pacino in the classic movie Scarface but these words could also have been said by Charly, the humiliated protagonist at the heart of Hard Feelings, a new German comedy currently streaming on Netflix.
Who is his little friend? Well, according to the teens at his high school, who call him “Charlie No Dick,” you probably need no further explanation. That being said, his penis isn’t necessarily small – not that it should matter if it is – but when he was younger, the nickname stuck after the kids in his class got a glimpse of his then tiny private area after one of them pulled down his swim shorts.
Years later, Charly is reminded of that embarrassing nickname all over again when some of the high schoolers ridicule him when he is standing on the diving board at the pool.
Charly has more to worry about than the (apparent) size of his genitals, however. Something happens in the movie that causes his penis to speak to him! This causes further humiliation for the embarrassed teen but in a conversation with his penis (don’t worry, this isn’t a true story), he discovers a means to silence it.
So, how can Charly silence his talking penis? And does he succeed? Let’s take a closer look at the movie.
Why can Charly’s penis talk?
After the embarrassing incident at the pool, where footage of him being called Charly No-Dick is filmed, Charly gets respite from his troubles with his best friend Paula.
While sitting on a roof together, a lightning bolt hits close to where they are sitting. Charly is terrified by this but Paula is excited by their near-death experience.
The next day, Charly wakes up with an erection. This is quite normal, of course, but what isn’t normal is what happens next – His penis starts talking to him!
Why is this happening? Well, it likely has something to do with the lightning bolt. There is no scientific explanation for lightning causing genitalia to talk, but this seems to be the case here. However, the lightning bolt could simply be a metaphor for the spark that develops between the friends. This is a more reasonable explanation but it’s a hidden meaning as the movie does seem to feature talking genitalia!
Do Charly and his ‘friend’ get along?
Not really. His new/old friend is an embarrassment for Charly. His parents catch him talking to it, which is obviously humiliating – they think he was masturbating – and later that day, he is embarrassed in front of Paula on the way to school when his penis starts making sexual remarks about her. Thankfully, she can’t hear what Charly’s ‘friend’ is saying.
Charly struggles to cope with his chattering appendage but he later discovers a way to silence his constant companion.
How can Charly silence his penis?
Initially, Charly thinks he can silence his penis by masturbating but this doesn’t work. But then his ‘friend’ makes him a deal. It tells him that it will stop talking once he has his first sexual appearance.
It’s a good thing Charly has found a possible solution as his penis continues to humiliate him at school. This includes a moment when Charly becomes aroused while he is performing on stage because of the sexual encouragement of his penis! He runs off the stage and has a chat with his ‘friend’ when he thinks he is alone. Unfortunately, he accidentally leaves his mic on meaning everybody in the school hall can hear him.
Despite this embarrassment, Charly is later hailed as a hero. This is because a video of his embarrassing moment on stage goes viral and when one popular Tik Tocker calls him brave for talking about his horniness (she obviously didn’t know that what she heard was a conversation that took place between him and his penis), the others high schoolers (clearly enamoured with her), begin to treat Charly differently.
Does Charly have a sexual experience?
Well, Charly’s chances have been improved because of his newfound fame as a lot of the girls see him in a new light! But it’s Paula, and not the other girls from his high school, that asks him to have sex with her.
It’s clear that she is uncomfortable about asking him, however. Why? Well, it’s not her decision. You see, somebody is encouraging her to ask him for sex. Who? No prizes for guessing that it is her genitalia! As Paula was also close to the lightning, her less-than-private body part also gained the power of speech.
Like Charly’s penis, Paula’s vagina is also very horny!
Despite her appealing requests, Charly turns Paula down. This is likely because he is shocked at her forwardness and also because he isn’t quite ready to go through with it.
He later tells his penis that he didn’t sleep with Paula because he was afraid he might lose her if they have sex. This is a perfectly reasonable response. Sex can end a friendship as things can become awkward afterwards. As Charly and Paula weren’t in a relationship, this was a good reason for Charly to think with his head and not with his…you know what (despite the protestations of the latter).
Does Charly have a sexual experience with somebody else?
At school, Charly develops the hots for Francoise, a French exchange student. When mean girl Marlene asks him to her party, he decides to ask Francoise to go with him.
Meanwhile, Paula is starting to notice the guys in school, partly due to the encouragement of her downstairs buddy!
At the party, Charly and Francoise get jiggy on the dance floor but they don’t get jiggy in the bedroom. After getting wasted, he wakes up with somebody else – Marlene. She tells him they slept together although he can’t remember that happening. His penis can’t remember him and Marlene having sex either although it is glad that it finally ‘happened.’
Of course, it didn’t really happen. Marlene makes up the story of them having sex because she wants everybody to know that she slept with the school hero – now affectionately nicknamed Boner Boy!
Paula almost has sex though. At the party, she hooks up with Constantine, Marlene’s ex. However, he ejaculates prematurely right before they get into bed together. This causes him great embarrassment but Paula comforts him and promises not to tell anybody it happened.
Paula keeps to her word. However, Constantine, perhaps afraid that she will say something, decides to spread rumours about her before anything can be said about him. She tells everybody she is a “sex addict,” which causes her a great amount of suffering when people start treating her like the “school slut.”
What happens to Charly and Paula?
It soon becomes apparent to Charly that Marlene isn’t really interested in him when she is aloof and unaffectionate. He later discovers her getting it on with Constantine in the bathroom, which is evidence that his ‘relationship’ with her was just a case of her stringing him along. This causes him great distress.
Paula is in distress too. Who do they blame? Their special friends! One night while drunk and out walking, we hear Charly blaming his penis for the events that have happened. Nearby, we see Paula standing on the end of a bridge, seemingly about to end her life. She too is blaming her vagina for the mess she is in.
Charly hears Paula and comes to her aid. It’s at this point that he realizes she also has a friend and they share their unusual experiences with one another. They then decide to get revenge on Constantine for what he did to Paula. At the Graduation Dance, they put their plan into action.
What happens at the dance?
Charly tries to enlist Francoise to help with his plan but as she thinks he dumped her at the party, she isn’t willing to speak to him. Paula manages to convince her otherwise when she makes Francoise realize it was Marlene and not Charly who was to blame for what happened as it was Marlene who stole him away while he was drunk.
The plan unfolds. Francoise seduces Constantine behind the stage curtain. After she pulls his trousers down, she leaves and opens the curtains. The crowd see him on stage half-naked and they laugh at the size of his penis. They call him “Constantine No Dick.” Clearly, these teens don’t have an original bone in their bodies!
Charly and Paula immediately feel bad for Constantine – even though they initiated the plan – and they get up on stage alongside him. They also strip down so the focus is taken away from Constantine.
Paula makes a speech about how people should treat each other with respect, irrespective of their genitals. She tells them everybody has insecurities so there should be “no more shaming.” The crowd buy into this and cheer – they really are a fickle lot!
At the end of the dance, Paula, Charly, and Constantine meet outside. Constantine tells Paula he has never felt so free – he surely did when he was hanging loose on the stage (but we won’t talk further about that) – but Paula isn’t done with him. Still angry about him slut shaming her, she swings at his motorcycle and smashes a light.
To make matters worse for Constantine, he is rebuffed by Marlene who no longer wants anything to do with him.
Shortly after, Francoise asks Charly and Paula if they want a “menage a trois.” It’s a tempting offer for the talking genitals but Charly tells her no as he is saving himself for someone special. Who? Paula, of course, and he pulls her towards him for a beautiful kiss.
Does Charly silence his penis?
As they are now romantically attached, Charly and Paula sleep together. In fact, they sleep together several times in the space of a few seconds (yes, you read that right).
At this point, it would appear that Charly and Paula have silenced their genitals.
But days later, the two are on a road trip together. When the weather report comes on and the commentators talk about a “hard front” and “getting wet,” the teens are dismayed when their genitals start talking again!
Why weren’t the body parts silenced?
The movie is fantastical in nature but there is a point being made here… we think! When anybody’s hormones go into overdrive, they think less with their heads and more with their genitals. It’s as if these body parts develop a mind of their own which, in the case of this movie, they seemed to do in a literal sense!
So, while Charly and Paula did silence their respective body parts for a while, their ‘friends’ sprung back to life when the two teens’ hormonal overdrive kicked in again because of the innuendo-laden weather report!
Do you agree with our explanation? Or do you have anything else you want to say about the movie? Let us know in the comments below.