Sundance review: "Touchy Feely"
Published: January 22, 2013 07:56AM
Updated: January 19, 2013 02:32PM
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| courtesy Sundance Institute Rosemarie DeWitt plays Abby, a massage therapist who develops an aversion to touching people, in "Touchy Feely." The film played in the U.S. Dramatic competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. It will screen at the Sundance London Film and Music Festival.

"Touchy Feely"

U.S. Dramatic

**1/2 (two-and-a-half stars)

Director Lynn Shelton's movies are like a massage: Too much pushing, and things get uncomfortable. That's what happens in this labored story of siblings Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) and Paul (Josh Pais). Abby is a massage therapist who suddenly develops an aversion to touching people, which messes up her business and her romance with nice-guy bike-shop operator Jesse (Scoot McNairy). Meanwhile, Pau is a dentist with a faltering practice, until he and his daughter Jenny (Ellen Page) discover he suddenly has a healing touch. Shelton's past Sundance entries, "Humpday" and "Your Sister's Sister," worked best because she let the actors improvise their characters' dialogue and behavior -- as they together found their own way through. This time, Shelton forces this top-notch cast tthrough situations that sound better on paper than are realized on screen.

- Sean P. Means

"Touchy Feely" screens again: Saturday, 9:30 p.m., Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City; Sunday, 6 p.m., Sundance screening room, Sundance resort; Monday, 9 a.m., Egyptian Theatre, Park City; Wednesday, 5:30 p.m., The MARC Theatre, Park City; Thursday, 8:45 p.m., Library Center Theatre, Park City.