Act Naturally (2011) Poster


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Review from first screening in NYC
paladin23526 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Act Naturally is about two sisters, one biological and one adopted, that first meet upon the death of their father. Leah Collins (played by Katie L. Hall, who also co-produced and co-wrote the movie) is the adopted daughter while Charlie Tillerman (Liz Lytle) plays the biological daughter. At the beginning of the movie Leah gets a call from Charlie. During their introductory call, Charlie tells Leah that her father has died, and that they have to take a road trip together from Florida to Arizona to claim their father's remains.

When the two sisters arrive at their destination, they are both surprised to find themselves at a nudist resort. The women then discover that not only was their father secretly a nudist, but he also owned the resort! If that was not enough of a surprise, they soon find out that the nudist resort is their inheritance, which they now own. It seems like the only thing they can agree on is that neither one of the wants to take their clothes off, and that they both want to be done with this experience as soon as possible to get on with their lives. The resort staff recognize this discomfort, and try to get them feel as comfortable as possible in their new environment basically to keep sisters from selling or closing down the resort. Most of what I have described is the introduction and setup, while the remainder of the movie deals with a fish out of water style comedy as the two sisters deal with their new environment.

The movie has both funny and serious moments. Some of the serious moments explore the characters who work at the resort, and their individual reasons for choosing to live in a nudist environment. As such I think it pretty much succeeds in one of its main goals to honestly depict a non exploitational story of who nudists really are, and how two non-nudist women adjust to an unexpected and forced immersion into a nude environment.
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Modern movie pays homage to "nudie cutie" genre
derek222 August 2012
This is a fun picture--a lightweight entertainment with lots of eye-candy. It is a very modern homage to a classic genre from the past.

When their father passes away, two young women are surprised to learn that he has left them an unusual inheritance: a nudist resort. So naturally they have to go there and find out what they have.

Initially reluctant to "go native", they gradually get over their inhibitions.

Unlike most modern movies with nudity, there is very little frontal exposure, and not much sex. Like the classic "nudie cuties" of the 1960's, there are generous displays of good-looking T & A.
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Nice, pleasant film, nothing more nothing less
Jenova_Project28 August 2012
With all the films in Hollywood that glorify nudity as sexual, it's nice to watch a film that has more in common with the innocent Doris Wishman movies of the 60s than modern day porn flicks. I just wish that the film itself was as interesting as its premise.

The story itself is quite low-key, and even boring at times given that stakes are quite low: Leah and Charlie want to sell the nudist resort, but the nudists want to keep it, so they try to convince them otherwise. They live fairly comfortable lives before they arrive, and the character arcs in which they go are quite contrived.

The characters are all quite diverse, and the actors are all convincing in their parts. Yet, this doesn't yield as much drama as one would think. Leah and Charlie are both quite different characters, yet the actresses don't seem to have much chemistry together, and despite their different philosophies on life, don't particularly have interesting scenes together.

In terms of technical specs, the cinematography and sound are satisfactory. It's an indie pic, so the low budget look of the film falls more in line with a hipster music video, which certainly aids the film's flat, laid-back feel. It's just a shame a location that is not typically seen much in film is not filmed to be more interesting.

Above all, I think what really weighs the film down it that it's not particularly funny even though it's a comedy. The lines are not zingers (even with a gay character!), and it's hard to really laugh at the same joke over and over again. They're naked! The girls are uncomfortable! But, in the end, it's hard to be completely mad at the film. It's tone is quite pleasant, and the performances are pretty good. Just don't expect anything really earth shattering, given the subject matter.
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Sail_a_man19 November 2014
Like several other reviewers I found it refreshingly pleasant to see a film which has people nude for none sexual reasons and generally a reasonably enjoyable film to watch. However despite several favourable comments on the extras portion of the DVD from people who are reputedly real nudists I didn't really feel that it portrayed nudism very accurately. Firstly nudism is usually promoted as a family activity, in this film all the nudists appeared to be single, an almost complete lack of any families, only in the final few seconds were a couple briefly seen with kids in there arms, maybe they were real members of the club used in the film. My other reason for deleting points out of ten is the the foul language frequently used by the two women who were the central characters, this was totally unnecessary, if it wasn't for that I would have said it was a movie the whole family young and old alike could have enjoyed. In some ways the movie parodied the nudies from the 50's and 60's where there always seemed to be some object which just happened to be in the right place to obscure the view, which seemed to be done more for comedy than anything.
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A Great Start to Mainstreaming Nudity
nicholasdcannan10 May 2013
While not the best film ever made, for independent with nudism as a central theme, it was very well put together. The reactions of the two non-nudist characters were very believable especially for an American audience which really helps to relate with.

The only reason "Act Naturally" loses a star in my book is because of the sexualized nature of some of the plot especially around the open bar party scene.

"Act Naturally" was most definitely written for those accustomed and okay with nudity with not much easing into the idea, but really, it's entertainment, not therapy. A good watch and recommended for repeat views.
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Loved it!
katebet-110 May 2013
I watched "Act Naturally" last night. It is now well and truly one of my all time favorite movies - I can imagine myself in forty years pulling out the DVD to watch it yet again. It was funny, heart warming and the characters were real and honest. I could imagine being friends with them. The nudity was not gratuitous in any way - it was for a point - to explore how people perceive and judge their own bodies - it even had me thinking about my own self image and what example I am setting to the children in my life (I need to change what I think, do and say!). It is not an action packed movie, I know it doesn't appeal to everyone, but for me it was refreshing and I loved it. Give it a look - what have you got to lose? Other than your clothes perhaps...:-)
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Accurate Representation of Naturism
Clementine3415 May 2013
I had the opportunity to see one of the advanced (clothing optional) screenings at a Naturist Park I was working at. The movie was amazing! Entertaining, funny, and an appropriate accurate representation of Naturism. Tastefully done! We need more of this in the media! Would love to see it again and would recommend it to friends interested in learning a little bit more about naturism! Some of the cast and crew was visiting with us when they came to premier the film. They were a pleasure to be with, and extremely humble. This group has worked very hard and should feel very very proud for all they have accomplished! I look forwards to buying this video on DVD and sharing it with others. A great independent film!
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Light and enjoyable
Floated215 January 2021
The center of attention towards the film seems to be the amount of nudity. There is a large amount but the film's reasoning behind it stems from the people being "nudist" at a nudist resort. The story is relatively better than expect and only given a small plot description, it does showcase what it it about. The film isn't as provocative as initially thought, where this is a real film with a plot, convincing acting, characters, well dialogue and so on.

Although the end results are very predictable and we see sort of how they would unfold as the film progresses. With an obvious happy ending. The ending is given a very clear sequel bait, and apparently there is a sequel but not yet out? They really should have made the sequel right away. This film seems like it would actually made a decent tv series, given that there are several different characters and many subplots could ensure from it.
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Act Naturally Show a Great Side
EverydayIDecay29 January 2021
Pro nudest colony and pro the Act Naturally story. A great side to showing how life can still be enjoyable and about the only place where people still treat eachother well.
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Amateur production starts with some awkward laughs and dissolves into rubbish
dragonbabezee8 March 2021
I guess the film makers did one thing right in putting their best effort into the first half of the film, so then at least some would watch the ending for the resolution despite it's decline in script, editing, pacing and sense.

To be fair, we did laugh at many scenes at the beginning, though some from the cringe element. The two sisters are oddly prudish even for two non-nudists. The cast appears to be a mix of actors and extras given speaking parts. Perhaps some agreed to frontal nudity and others didn't, because we get a mix of straightforward nudity and fan-dances with comically, strategically placed props.

However, that's not what really let's it down. The sound is choppy throughout, and the camera needlessly handheld at times. In the last act the script, not strong to begin with, falls apart, and actors seem to be ab libbing with the most banal non-communication. The editing goes to pot, especially with the multiple fade-to-black cuts during the not-sad-at-all funeral. The final insult is that the resolution of the story is not revealed to us - the argument and subsequent agreement between the sisters is without audio, with just...airplane noises over the top? WHY? Was the audio not useable? Why not reshoot? Was the script so lame that it was deemed unworthy of inclusion? Again, reshoot, please! It couldn't have been expensive to shoot - two girls and a car on the side of a country road.

I don't know. Hopefully it was a learning experience for everyone involved.
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Good independent film.
kevinshea3719 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This is a great representation of the nudist lifestyle. The sexual subplots might discourage some people, and it should be noted that nudism isn't about sex. These scenes do, however, seem to tie sexual activity to an emotional connection between characters, and not as a free-love orgy. It is also good to see that sex is not actually simulated on screen.

The Naturist Society and the American Association for Nude Recreation are very useful resources for information on the nude lifestyle as well as endorsements of campgrounds and resorts which fit the nudist philosophy.
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Fails in so many ways....
imdb-230688 February 2021
First it must be said that nobody working in/on this movie has ever been to a nudist resort. None of the characters or situations will be found at one. Plus if only 8 people lived & worked at one, it would have been shut down a long time ago. The story & plot are garbage. Not only not representing the nudist lifestyle or resort. Not representing real people. Worse there was one laugh and very little drama. Should have spent more than five minutes writing the script. The cinematography gets a huge fail. At times the camera is shaking so bad I was getting nauseous! They do sell tripods & minopods to avoid this. Audio was not a total fail but very inconsistent. The acting ranged from just okay to totally unbelievable. Maybe they were embarrassed to speak the often silly nonsensical lines. If you are watching for the nudity, there are plenty of better movie choices as well. While some scenes appear staged for brief glimpses of breasts & butts other scenes they are strategically blocked. I get the feeling they couldn't decide what kind of movie they were making so tried several directions at once. Fail!
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A movie you'd come to thinking it's another cheesy movie but it surprises you
nIGHTmAYOR5 January 2021
So basically it has nudity . It revolves around nudity . It promotes for nudity and LGPT . So yea this isn't a material for a conservative . But is still not a regretable watch . The plot is not cheesy . The characters build up is not bad . The choice of actors wasn't bad either . The only take I have on that movie is that it promotes for something that isn't really there . Like a good community of naked people that all they want is being liberated from materialism is fairy . So while it pretends to raise awareness you can't quite find such thing they are promoting existing . So bottom line it is still a movie that try to make its way based on nudity let alone but high ratings for the effort .
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Naturally done and a nice story
dario-western2 September 2016
It's a thoroughly enjoyable movie. If anybody is looking for an introduction into the naturist way of life, this gentle comedy is a great way of easing you into it.

The film begins when businessman Ned Tillerman is killed in a boating accident. He has two estranged daughters who are called by the management of his own nudist resort Bear Lake to pick up his belongings. Neither of them are aware of the fact that when they arrive at the resort that it is a nudist venue and their father had allocated the property for them to inherit upon his death. The adventures begin from there....

It's funny without being overly gratuitous or sexually exploitative, and focuses on the problems that nudists often have with being accepted by mainstream society, and non-nudists trying to understand what this lifestyle has to offer them.

Highly recommended for most people to watch.
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