Touchy Feely (2013)

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Released 6-Nov-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Interviews-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2013
Running Time 85:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Lynn Shelton

Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis


Last year I had the opportunity to review Your Sister's Sister by director Lynn Shelton featuring the wonderful actress Rosemarie DeWitt. Whilst their latest film together, Touchy Feely, is nowhere near as good as the previous film it is still worth a watch for those fans of Shelton and indie cinema.

DeWitt plays massage therapist Abbie. At the beginning of the film she seems to have it all. She loves her job and is particularly good at it and she is about to move in with her gorgeous boyfriend Jesse played by Scoot McNairy. Her brother Paul, Josh Pais, isn't going so well. His dental practice is in sharp decline. His daughter Jenny, Ellen Page, works as his dental assistant but is desperate to move on to college. She is only staying with him due to loyalty.

The reasons that are never really made clear Abbie and Paul undergo something of a reversal of fortune. She finds that she could no longer bear the thought of human touch, which makes her job as a masseuse somewhat difficult. She can't really explain it to Jesse and their relationship is starting to fail. Meanwhile Paul becomes the go-to dentist for people suffering from a jaw problem called Temperomandibular Joint Disfunction(TMJ). Suddenly his practice is full of people all claiming that Paul has the "miracle touch".

At the suggestion of Abbie Paul goes to see her friend Bronwyn, Alison Janney, who not only inspires him through her Reiki massage techniques but also awakens in him some human desire, something that has been missing for many years.

Touchy Feely is well performed by the ensemble cast and the Seattle locations are beautiful. To my mind, however, it doesn't work so well as the script is frustratingly vague and the conversations and dialogue seem improvised but without great meaning.

Nevertheless, fans of Shelton or DeWitt will want pick this film up for completeness and it is good to see Ellen Page back in an indie film. Those hoping for a reunion between Juno and her mother should know that Page and Janney don't share any scenes.

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Transfer Quality



Touchy Feely comes to DVD in a 1.78:1 transfer which appears to be consistent with its original aspect ratio.

The film was shot on digital video.

It is a fairly flat presentation, entirely consistent with indie low-budget cinema.

The image quality is reasonably crisp.

There are no technical defects with the transfer.

The colours are well handled.

The flesh tones are accurate.

There are subtitles in English

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


Touchy Feely comes to DVD with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track running at 448 Kb/s.

The dialogue is clear and easy to understand (although the meaning sometimes isn't!).

It is not a criticism of the film that neither the surround sound track nor the sub woofer get any attention.

Music is by composer Vinny Smith and are also a few nice indie tracks thrown in including one by Andrew Bird and a couple of songs by Tomo Nakayama including one which appears at a pivotal moment in the film.

There are no technical defects with the sound.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


This DVD contains only two extras.


There is approximately half an hour of interview material with director Lynn Shelton as well as actors Josh Pais, Alison Janney, and Scoot McNairy. The interviews are reasonably lengthy and although some time is dedicated to the description of the film and the characters there is some interesting information about the making of the film.

Theatrical Trailer

The trailer.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.


This film is also available as a Blu-ray in region A. The extras included with that release are quite substantial. Not only are there outtakes, a series of deleted scenes, the interviews included here and a short featurette for the film but there is a complete commentary track with Shelton, DeWitt and Pais which would be essential for fans of the movie.



Touchy Feely has all the elements of a really good movie including an excellent cast but never quite gels into a superior experience. There are moments to enjoy and the DVD is of decent quality with some lengthy extra material.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC-LX 81 7.1
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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