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Touchy Feely

MV5BNjc1NjIyMzk5M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDk2NjE3OQ@@._V1_SX214_Rosemarie DeWitt, Ellen Page, Josh Pais, Allison Janney

Abby (played by DeWitt) is a massage therapist who can no longer work when she develops an aversion to touching. This puts her relationship in jeopardy, not to mention her own mental health.

Abby’s conservative and uptight brother, Paul, runs a very quiet dental practice with his daughter Jenny (Ellen Page). When Paul discovers he has a healing touch, his business and his confidence grows – but it is only short-lived, and does nothing to help his relationship with Jenny.

There are mixed reviews on this film – some can’t work out where it’s going or how it hangs together, others enjoy its thoughtfulness.

I tend to like films that are a  little ‘offbeat’ but still offer some of the pleasures of a conventional rom com. Touchy Feely falls into this space. It moves quietly and carefully amongst its characters, exploring their personalities, trying not to give them simple resolution, but also not getting bogged down in the dark side.

The acting in this film is superb, especially from DeWitt. It’s definitely worth watching – don’t expect a blockbuster, that’s not what it’s trying to achieve, but do expect something a little more grassroots.

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To Rome with Love

MV5BMTcwNTg4MDMxM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjAzMzY3Nw@@._V1_SX214_Alison Pill, Judy Davis, Greta Gerwig, Penelope Cruz, Ellen Page, Alessandra Mastronardi, Alec Baldwin, Woody Allen, Jesse Eisenberg

Set in bustling, loveable Rome, here are four separate stories:

American tourist Hayley meets Michelangelo, they fall in love and get engaged. Her parents come to Rome (Allen and Davis) to meet his family. Hayley’s father tries to make Michelangelo’s father into a huge opera star, even though he can only sing in the shower.

Antonio and Milly are newly weds and new arrivals in Rome. They go off in separate directions and each experiences their own sexual fantasy before they come back together and decide to go home.

Leopoldo becomes a star and is hounded by the Paparazzi, just for being his normal, boring old self. And when it all comes to an end, he’s not sure he wants to return to a world without fame and glamour.

Well known architect, John, holidays in Rome where he lived 30 years ago. He meets a young architecture student, Jake, and his girlfriend. They have a friend come to stay who provides a dangerous love interest for Jake. John acts as Jack’s conscience and tries to give him advice.

This film is a little like Allen’s last work “Midnight in Paris“. There are places where you can get confused, and you need to allow yourself to wander off into the bizarre Woody Allen sub-conscious. There are at least six women protagonists in this flick, but as usual, it is the male psyche that is being examined in detail.

I enjoyed this movie. The four story lines are not meant to meet up. They are four separate little films in one. Definitely worth a watch or adding to the Woody Allen library.

Juno

Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, JK Simmons

If you could go back to high school and be much cooler than what you were, you’d be Juno (played by Ellen Page). She gets pregnant by her friend Paulie Bleeker and tries to take care of everything herself. She’s incredibly immature and incredibly mature at the same time.

Juno decides to adopt the baby out to a middle class couple, Mark and Vanessa, played by Bateman and Garner. She has to learn very quickly about relationships, and about how to listen to her own heart.

This isn’t a typical boy meets girl rom com. Here are some young people dealing with growing up, being teenagers, and understanding boundaries.

The soundtrack is terrific (Kimya Dawson), low fi, just like the flick. This is a great film for young and old alike and has established itself as a cult classic.

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