I have a confession.
I guess this seems like as good a time as any to actually acknowledge it.
Yeah, it's kind of embarrassing. Weird, really.
I slept with my therapist. No, seriously. This isn't some funny line or some weird segue into a weird review. This is a true story. Why am I acknowledging this now?
I swear to god, every fiber of my being was reminded of that part of my life while sitting here watching the marvelous Marty Smith bring to life Dr. Talbert, the central therapist in this 10-minute mockumentary that follows her as she guides four equally dysfunctional couples through a group couples' session that is just about as frightening, and funny, as you might guess it would be.
As Dr. Talbert, Smith is hilariously out of her element yet so incredibly enthusiastic about her mission that it would be rather easy to mistake her enthusiasm as therapeutic insight. She's the kind of therapist who serves as cheerleader and coach, overly familiar friend and uncomfortable confidante.
In other words, she reminds me an awful lot of "THAT" therapist I encountered oh so many years ago.
The weird thing? That made me laugh even harder.
Directed by Steve Blackwood and co-directed by Steve and Karen Blackwood, I Feel is filled to the brim with insightful, informed dialogue that finds fun in all the right places yet never crosses that line into broad caricature and never actually feels like it's making fun of the therapeutic process.
Okay, maybe it's making a little bit of fun of it.
The film's ensemble cast, essentially the couples, is an absolute delight with a sense of comic timing and chemistry not often found in the world of low-budget, indie mockumentaries.
Trust me, most of the time these things are awful.
At a mere 10 minutes in running time, I Feel doesn't dig any deeper than it needs to get is story across. It's a slice of life, or a slice of a therapy session, with four couples who aren't very likely to see much change even if we would visit this therapy session five years from now.
Nicely photographed and edited by Chris Esper, who lets us watch the facial expressions yet cuts at just the right comic moment, I Feel is the kind of film you remember long after the closing credits roll.
And you laugh.
And you kind of wonder if the therapist is single.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic