by Karen Benardello, published on August 29, 2013 - 19:49:12 GMT|
People can become so engrained in staying in familiar professions and relationships that they fail to realize they desperately need a change of ideas and experiences to emotionally mature and obtain a more developed view of the world around them. It can often take a drastic push and continuous encouragement from someone they love, as well as meaningful inspiration from a person who has just entered their life, to truly introduce them to accepting new experiences. Thats certainly the case with writer-director Lynn Sheltons new independent drama, Touchy Feely. While the main family members in the film do accept each others decisions and emotions, it isnt until each one unexpectedly finds a meaningful connection with friends and potential romantic partners that they realize how drastically their views and feelings can evolve, without completely changing who they are.
Touchy Feely closely examines a family whose delicate psychic balance suddenly unravels. Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) is a sought after massage therapist and a free spirit, while her brother, Paul (Josh Pais), thrives on routine and convention, running a waning dental practice and co-dependently enlisting the assistance of his emotionally stunted daughter Jenny (Ellen Page).
But emotional transformation suddenly and unexpectedly touches everyone in the family. Abby develops an uncontrollable aversion to bodily contact, which not only makes her occupation impossible, but severely hinders the passionate love life between her and her boyfriend (Scoot McNairy). Meanwhile, rumors of Pauls healing touch begin to miraculously invigorate his practice, as well as his life outside the office. As Abby navigates her way through a soul-searching identity crisis, her formerly skeptical brother discovers a whole new side of himself with one of his sisters colleagues, Bronwyn (Allison Janney).
Shelton and Pais generously took the time recently to sit down and talk about filming Touchy Feel during a roundtable interview in New York City. Among other things, the writer-director and actor discussed how both penning and helming the movie are part of the same process, as they come from the same vision; how they decided to make a film together after meeting several years before they began shooting the drama and came to admire each others work; and how the actors stuck to Sheltons script, but if they saw an organic moment while filming, the director was open to allowing them to improvise.