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Film Review: The Feels at the Inside Out Film Festival

By Sanita Fejzić on November 3, 2017

The Inside Out Film Festival is back in town from November 10–12, 2017 at the National Gallery of Canada.

American filmmaker Jenée LaMarque’s The Feels is a light-hearted movie about the joys and failures of relationships. A weekend at the cottage brings together friends and family for Andi (Constance Wu) and Lu’s (Angela Trimbur) bachelorette party. Filled with humour and drama, The Feels is quirky and beautiful, with some unexpected and exceptional scenes.

My favourite character and one that is sure to move audiences is Lu and Andi’s friend and singer-songwriter Karin (Karin Tatoyan, a Berlin-based musician), whose voice took my breath away. The whole movie is changed by her singing, which feels like a hybrid of Coco Rosie and Florence and the Machine. But she’s not the only surprising and talented character in The Feels; the whole cast delivers credible performances even if none of the characters feel completely well-rounded.

The movie is shot in a pseudo-documentary style, breaking the fourth wall by letting the characters address the audience directly in a confessional tone that gives us access to their inner minds. The big reveal is that one of the characters cannot orgasm and has been faking it for quite some time. This is the first time that I see a lesbian film in which sexuality is portrayed in such a frank way. This revelation is followed up by a dramatic scene that fails to give us a nuanced understanding of how complex intimacy between two human beings shapes relationships and psychologies, whether homosexual or otherwise.

As a drama, The Feels somehow fails to reach the depths of human emotions and relations, even if at the level of plot, it manages to show us their complexities. At the level of comedy, however, The Feels succeeds on every point. From the sound track to the colour palette, everything about the film makes you smile. Normal Helen’s character in particular (played by Ever Mainard), who functions as a more sophisticated version of the buffoon, is excellent at resolving the tensions by delivering just-the-right line or facial expression.

I recommend this film if you’re in the mood for something light and if, like me, you’re interested in a queer sexual relationship that’s portrayed realistically, in all its beauty and imperfection. Watch The Feels on Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 6:45 p.m. at the National Gallery of Canada.

The Inside Out Film Festival takes place November 10-12, with events around town and films at the National Gallery of Canada. For a full listing of films and events, including admission prices, please visit the Inside Out’s webpage. Single screening and full access ticket packages are available.