Touchy Feely - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Touchy Feely Reviews

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Super Reviewer
December 21, 2016
A great cast has some moments but ultimately bores us in this existential crisis that no one will want a part of.
½ December 17, 2016
It is a well-acted film and there are some really lovely moments, but even as a fan of Lynn Shelton's work, "Touchy Feely" is tonally, and narratively, all over the place. I feel like something went wrong during the production, and she had to somehow make things seem watchable. It starts out solid, but it loses its control afterwards and it got very confusing. It's an underwhelming film.
½ November 12, 2015
This did not really do for me ...
October 5, 2015
this movie actually sucked! I only watched it for Ellen Page! the plot is non existent, as well the script is far from amazing it almost seemed like they weren't trying hard enough. the movie when it had rare funny moments was because it was awkward and out of place.
½ July 6, 2015
This film was just dumb and awful....
April 6, 2015
1 Star!
Awful movie
Very Disturbing
½ December 11, 2014
The cast does the best they can with the material they are given, but it is not nearly quirky enough to make it memorable.
½ September 18, 2014
3.5/5 --- Touching and feeling, that is a whole part of being human. So what happens when you cannot stand to touch any more, do you still feel the same (feelings)? This introspective quiet but deeply movie asks the questions and shows you what happens when balance is shaken and we must adapt, and awaken to our other senses. I really enjoyed it, I definitely felt like Ellen Page's character in my days... Done with perfect subtlety.
September 2, 2014
im a fan of lynn shelton, i liked humpday and i really liked your sisters sister, however this one isnt as focused as those 2, i dont really know what it was trying to say/do, and the ending feels rushed and too neat, theres some good performances yes, but the story just wasnt at that same level, im looking forward to laggies tho, her next film, it has keira knightley in it so obvs im seeing it
September 1, 2014
Overview: In this Freaky Friday-esque film, a brother and sister swap characteristics which lead to a better life for him and a more difficult one for her.

Review (with Spoilers)

Between Ellen Page, Allison Janney, and Rosemarie DeWitt, you have a great filmography between the three in which you will likely find the best drama or comedy movies of the past few years; and between DeWitt and Janney, you'll also find some of the best television of the past few years. Leading to the question of how come this film seemed to not really pop up anywhere? Is it simply that Magnolia Pictures wanted to focus on their other projects more, like Blackfish, or simply a general lack of interest? To find out if you should be interested in this movie, look below.

Characters & Story

In this awkward little family, Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) is a massage therapist, who has an interest in alternative medicine; her brother Paul (Josh Pais), who at first meeting comes off as Abby's father, is a dentist who speaks in monotone and is very plain; and then there is Paul's daughter Jenny (Ellen Page) who simply is a young girl, likely fresh out of high school, who is unsure what to do with her life.

Leading to the main story which deals with Abby's sudden phobia of being touched, or touching people, as her brother magically starts getting the healing touch. Something which turns his dying dental practice into the place many believe a miracle worker practices at. And while Abby adjusts to losing her ability to make people feel better, she has to deal with her boyfriend Jesse (Scoot McNairy), who originally was supposed to be a rebound from her ex Adrian (Ron Livingston). Then, as for Paul, as he discovers the power of his touch can help people, he starts to meet more and more with Abby's friend Browyn (Allison Janney) who teaches him Reiki, among other things. Leaving Jenny who pretty much spends most of the movie either working with her dad or wanting her aunt's boyfriend.


When it comes to praise, the nicest thing I can say is that the aforementioned actresses, and their co-stars, seem to fit their characters well. DeWitt playing a normal woman put in a weird situation seems in her comfort zone; Page being a teen who is on the cusp of adulthood and unprepared for the burden seems like something she is comfortable with; and then Janney playing an sort of eccentric character who rolls with the punches, once more, seems like something she has done before and is very comfortable in doing again and again.


Problem with that is, with their performances all feeling like a character they have played before, and with them playing these new characters without enthusiasm, it makes for a rather boring watching experience. Something which isn't helped by a story which never really explains why Abby gained her phobia of touching people, much less why Paul suddenly has magic fingers. There is no medium who makes them switch abilities, nor are there any concrete reasons. Then, when it comes to Paul, he is so boring that even as he meets with Browyn and tries to become a more interesting character, it feels more like a last ditch effort more than anything. Plus throughout the film I just felt like there was this big elephant in the room dealing with who in the world was Jenny's mom and where did she go? Since Paul, in the state we meet him, honestly seems more realistic as a 50+ year old divorcee, with two kids, rather than a guy in his 40s who has Abby as his sister and Jenny as his daughter.

The story as a whole though does not in any way makeup for these dull characters unfortunately. For between the aforementioned switch, and then the personal drama, you are left wondering what is the point of the film, or the story they are trying to tell? With Abby's relationship with both Jesse and Adrian, there doesn't seem to be any real direction, conflict, much less resolution. Then, when it comes to Jenny, the whole her liking Jesse thing was very weird and it also felt a bit slapped together. Almost like they knew it should have been cut, but they wanted Ellen Page in the movie, so they threw something together so that the role was just big enough for her to justify showing up, learning her lines, and maybe mentioning the movie hopefully.

Overall: Skip It

I was meandering between saying this was "TV Viewing" or "Skip It" when I first started watching this, but as the plot continued on, no characters began to draw me into their drama, and the story showed that it was all downhill from the beginning, I honestly wanted to stop watching this movie. And even though I did finish it, I can't honestly imagine this being worth more than background noise for a good Sunday nap. For while I like the female leads of the movie, and think they are brilliant, in each and every one of their filmographies you'll find films like these which seem more made for them to say they were actively working than really part of something you can imagine them openly, and repeatedly, promoting.
June 28, 2014
And I thought Sister's Sister was bad!
½ June 4, 2014
Everyone in this movie sound like they're either mentally impaired or like they are a mix of characters from other movies. But the last 15 minutes were pretty good.
May 30, 2014
It was a slow movie all the way through but it still wasn't to bad of a movie had a good cast to it
May 17, 2014
Horribly sad perspective on human interaction. Plus the movie has a terrible tone and rhythm.
May 10, 2014
It's could have been a good movie, but the characters problems never seem to be resolved. I had difficulty understanding the relations between the characters. The ending was pretty bad. If you want to see something worth watching, I don't recommend this movie.
½ March 9, 2014
Touchy Feely is an ok Drama about a guy believing in healing patients in his dentist chair and then a woman that gives people massages questions her ability in healing people. Its got some interesting qualities. OK cast. C(2013)
March 1, 2014
Not so good. Barely watchable actually. Just boring.
½ February 20, 2014
If you see only one movie from 2013 about a massage therapist, make sure it is Enough Said starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and not this one. Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt - Promised Land) is a highly sought after and highly regarded massage therapist and her brother Paul (Josh Pais - Arbitrage) is a routine dentist with an aging client list who is almost as exciting as a crayon. Working in Paul's drab and soul-draining office is his emotionally detached and distant daughter, Jenny (Ellen Page - Juno) who wants more out of life than her daily routine of watching over her father's flagging dental practice. Because it is a movie and nothing really needs to be explained (seriously), some mysterious transformation takes place and Abby suddenly develops an aversion to touching others and is disgusted by human skin while Paul's sad dentistry inexplicably becomes a place of dental miracles and word quickly spreads of his "healing touch"! Both siblings don't know what to make of their "new" lives as Abby cannot even be intimate with her long-time boyfriend (Scoot McNairy - Argo) and Paul finds himself to be quite the charmer. Lynn Shelton's latest film obviously wants to make a statement about being comfortable in one's own skin but most of it is simply un-interesting as some of the characters are dreadfully boring (sorry, Paul) and dull. It is odd ... and not in an odd good movie kind of way.
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