Touchy Feely is more serious than the rom-com vibe of its title lets on. Rosemarie DeWitt plays Abby, a masseuse who becomes inexplicably averse to physical contact of any kind, throwing her personal and professional endeavors into upheaval. Lynn Shelton’s film is fascinated by the healing power of touch, showing itself in extreme close-ups on Abby’s hands, which apparently are the crux of her deep-seated ennui, and a subplot in which her uptight brother (Josh Pais) gets into reiki. There’s never any doubt that Abby and those closest to her are having a rough go of things, but neither does Shelton ever investigate, much less explain, the source of this communal woe. Instead, our attachment to Shelton’s characters comes from the cast’s ability to silently express what her underwritten script can’t be bothered to convey. There’s a lot to admire on the surface of Touchy Feely—the performances are exceptional all around, and Shelton’s direction and aesthetic are both pleasantly free-wheeling—but its minimal resolution feels rushed and unearned. This is a heartfelt affair that cares a great deal about its characters, but there’s no reason so many strong components should add up to so little.
- Running Time:
- Release Date: Friday, August 30, 2013
- MPAA Rating: R
- Critic's Score: C
- Watch the trailer