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"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.