Touchy Feely

"OK"

Touchy Feely Review


After a couple of gimmicky transgressive comedies (Humpday and Your Sister's Sister), writer-director Lynn Shelton takes a more observant approach this time. So even if, as before, the script never quite fills in the gaps in the story, it at least knowingly recreates relational awkwardness in a remarkably sensitive way. And the characters are almost eerily easy to identify with.

The centre of the story is Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt), who is debating whether she should move in with her rebound boyfriend (Scoot McNairy). This sparks her to think about her whole life, and she ends up recoiling at the idea of touching human flesh. Which is a problem since she's a massage therapist. By contrast, her dentist brother Paul (Josh Pais) believes he might have the ability to heal his patients, so he consults Abby's reiki-practitioner colleague (Alison Janney) for advice. Meanwhile, Paul's daughter Jenny (Ellen Page) is terrified to tell her father that she hates working as his assistant. And she's even more afraid to admit that she has a crush on her aunt's boyfriend.

Along the way, Abby, Paul and Jenny are all pushed into a turning point in their lives by an unexpected change in circumstances, which of course feels a bit contrived. But the film's real strength is in the messy connection between family members who have issues with themselves and each other, all of which are expressed through clumsy conversations and uncomfortable physicality. As insecure siblings, DeWitt and Pais are terrific in complex roles that draw on the actors' nervous energy. But only Pais and McNairy are genuinely likeable: men who haven't a clue what to do. By contrast, the always terrific Page and Janney have much less-developed roles.

This is a movie constructed with tentative conversations in which people infuriatingly never quite say what they mean to say. Or what they need to say. If any of these people could communicate properly, their existential crises would vanish in a flash. And as Shelton tries to tie everything up in a far-too-tidy package, it's the small details that linger. And the fact that solutions almost always come when we least expect them.

Watch 'Touchy Feely' Trailer



Touchy Feely

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 89 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 1st March 2014

Box Office USA: $36.0k

Box Office Worldwide: $35 thousand

Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures

Production compaines: Magnolia Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Fresh: 20 Rotten: 36

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Steven Schardt

Starring: as Jenny, as Abby, as Jesse, as Bronwyn, as Adrian, as Paul, as Ellen, Ethel R. Deans as Mrs. Elvsted, Shannon Kipp as Susan, Tomo Nakayama as Henry

Also starring:


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Amy Movie Review

Amy Movie Review

As with his Formula One documentary Senna, filmmaker Asaf Kapadia cleverly uses archival footage to...

Terminator Genisys Movie Review

Terminator Genisys Movie Review

This declining franchise really needed a jolt to the head, but the producers disappointingly opt...

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Resisting the temptation to capitalise on the camp value of these characters, Channing Tatum and...

She's Funny That Way Movie Review

She's Funny That Way Movie Review

Wacky enough to make us smile but never laugh out loud, this screwball comedy harks...

Advertisement
Everly Movie Review

Everly Movie Review

A relentless onslaught of violent action, this movie is notable mainly because there's a woman...

Slow West Movie Review

Slow West Movie Review

First-time feature filmmaker John Maclean takes a strikingly original approach to the Western, creating a...

Mr. Holmes Movie Review

Mr. Holmes Movie Review

Despite this being a film about Sherlock Holmes, the fact that it's not much of...

Entourage Movie Review

Entourage Movie Review

Both shameless and shamelessly entertaining, this relentlessly boyish movie carries on exactly as the TV...

Advertisement