A massage therapist is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile, her uptight brother's floundering dental practice receives new l... Read allA massage therapist is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile, her uptight brother's floundering dental practice receives new life when clients seek out his healing touch.A massage therapist is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile, her uptight brother's floundering dental practice receives new life when clients seek out his healing touch.
Your Sister's Sister worked because it was predicated off of human interest and realism in its events and dialog. Shelton asserted herself in human dialog, and immersed herself in the breathtaking beauty of Seattle's woodsy environment, making the film easy-on-the-eyes and very effective. Here, she makes Touchy Feely exist in what appears to be a fantasy realm, where real-life situations occupy a plot-point of science-fiction that's not only a bit offputting but difficult to adjust to. When the film introduces these plot-points, it only becomes that much harder to stay in-tuned with it, which is an issue seeing as that's the film's central plot.
Rosemarie DeWitt is Abby, a skilled masseuse who, all of a sudden, becomes frightened by the touch/texture of human flesh. This is a major issue because it renders her job impossible. Her brother Paul (Josh Pais) works as a dentist, with his directionless daughter Jenny (Ellen Page). When Jenny impulsively states that Paul has a "healing touch" when it comes to his dental work, the fib becomes true as Paul's work begins to heal many of his customers and their dental issues.
So, while Abby's job begins to crumble before her eyes due to her newfound aversion to human skin, Paul's dentistry practices begin to flourish and the possibilities become endless on his part. We, as the audience, are simply asked to observe this happening and this is precisely the issue; the film is void of connection and moments where true sympathy could've been evoked. We learn nothing about these characters except some of their situations are sad, some make us envious, but in the end, all of them are pretty trite and forgettable.
Touchy Feely's issue comes from two things; one, it feels more gridlocked to a story, where Your Sister's Sister was breezy and flowed in the wind, thanks to improvisational dialog. The other is that it tries to humanize something inhuman, which are relationships. It tries to make them the point of focus in the film and forgets we need to see the characters involved in the relationship to make them work.
At the end of the film - which runs a rather short eighty-three minutes - I thought about Lynn Shelton and how Your Sister's Sister struck me with so much surprise and how little excitement this effort packed. I simply console and toy with the idea that she is young, smart, and clearly passionate about not only her home-state of Seattle but film as an artistic medium. I say what I do after watching a mediocre Woody Allen movie; "they'll make more."
Starring: Rosemarie DeWitt, John Pais, Ellen Page, Scoot McNairy, Allison Janney, and Ron Livingston. Directed by: Lynn Shelton.
- Aug 2, 2013