IN Hollywood, exploring absurdity in everyday life. An actress and her director dissect the making of '' You Hurt My Feelings. ''

Sisters from another mister. Cinematic alter egos. However, you define it, Julia Louis-Drefus and Nicole Holofcener have a connection that rivals the great movie partnerships of our time.

New York transplants who are similar in height and in age, Louis-Dreyfus, 62, and Holofcener, 63, each have two grown sons, a healthy self-deprecating attitude and the ability to riff on any topic : cake [ it's their favorite desert], Hollywood gossip [ yes, Robert De Niro ] did just have a baby and the indignities of aging.

Holofcener arrives at the restaurant in Santa Monica, Calif, first, takes glass cleaner out of her purse and cleans her brown-rimmed spectacles. 

Five minutes later, Louis Dreyfus grabs a chair, pulls out the same glasses in green and her own bottle of glass cleaner, and wipes them clean. [ Am I the only one who doesn't carry glass cleaner in her purse?]

On the set of their new film, '' You Hurt My Feelings, '' they were like two halves of the same person.

Louis-Drefus was styled similarly in how Holofcener usually dresses : loose fitting pants, button down blouses. With Covid protocols firmly in place at the time - those not in a scene were masked up - they were often mistaken for each other.

''You definitely feel like they are separated at birth,'' said producer Anthony Bregman. '' They are both mothers before filmmakers. They have the same sense of humor, the same honesty, the same potty mouth.

But I think what's at the core is that they have the same disbelief, or wonder, at the narcissism of social interaction.''

Take Louis-Dreyfus's new podcast, '' Wiser Than Me, '' which has ranked high on the charts since it debuted last month. In it Louis-Dreyfus interviews women who are older, and perhaps wiser than she is.

'' Maybe you'll still be doing it when I'm old enough to be interviewed,'' Holofcener told her.

''I won't,'' Louis-Dreyfus arrived.

'' And you'll be like, she's not that wise,'' Holofcener said.

'' I'll do this for eight more years, and the last episode will be me talking about me,'' Louis-Dreyfus said, laughing at the thought.

The two first me a decade ago, when they teamed up on '' Enough Said,'' the 2013 romantic comedy about a divorced woman grappling with sending her daughter off to college while contemplating a new love.

They later collaborated on an Amy Schumer sketch that went viral but weren't able to meet another film together, until now.

'' You Hurt My Feelings '' follows Beth [ Louis-Dreyfus], a somewhat successful and happily married writer who overhears her husband, Don [ Tobias Menzies], criticizing her new novel. The fallout proves devastating.

The premise is yet another example of Holofcener's ability to mine the mundanity of life for the absurd.

The World Students Society thanks author Nicole Sperling.


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