A woman learns that her best friend maybe alive and well in this out of world comedy from director Brandon Dermer.
Vanessa has been in a state of depression since her best friend Jennifer unexpectedly died due to a medical condition. Deciding to take some time off from their new business to clear her head, Vanessa heads to a rented house where she was originally scheduled to have a party celebrating the new business. At first, Vanessa is in dire straits when she learns the party cannot be cancelled due to missing the policy. But that’s nothing compared to what happens next.
The next morning, Vanessa wakes up to find Jennifer mysteriously alive and well. At first completely shocked, Vanessa learns the truth. The Jennifer before her is actually an extraterrestrial who has come to Earth for a period of 48 hours to learn human behavior. Vanessa finds herself in a very serious dilemma. At first skeptical, she decides to go along with the idea and soon enough, Vanessa is in a state of happiness again while teaching alien Jennifer the various states of human emotion. However, when the two days are up, will Vanessa once again be depressed or will she find a new lease on life?
Making his feature film directorial debut, Brandon Dermer came up with an interesting story based on pieces of his own life and working with writer Alisha Ketry, had a great idea for his first feature. The story of a woman who suffered loss gets a second chance while on the other side of the spectrum, an alien takes the shape of the best friend in hopes to learn human emotions within a period of two days.
The driving force of the film is the chemistry between Jillian Bell and Natalie Morales as Vanessa and Jennifer respectively. Bell is terrific in the role of our protagonist who is suffering from the loss of her best friend so bad that she even finds herself alienated from her boyfriend, played in a cameo by comedian Blake Anderson. When Morales comes in as alien Jennifer, she brings a presence where she may sound a bit monotonic, but it is all part of her character as she is learning about humans and emotions, which lead to an eventually newfound bond between she and Vanessa. Even when at one point, Vanessa and Jennifer do hit a breaking point, their power of friendship temporarily overcomes the negative.
As for producer Kyle Newacheck, his character of the local townie was originally meant to be a one scene cameo. However, he was elevated to a vital role in a second scene where Jennifer accidentally has Vanessa’s car shut off (due to Jennifer’s ability to manipulate electric waves) and the duo are stuck on the side of the road. It is this scene where Newacheck gives off a Matthew McConaughey-vibe to the role as he seems to be more than meets the eye.
I’m Totally Fine is a great feature debut for Brandon Dermer. The chemistry between Jillian Bell and Natalie Morales is key here and Kyle Newacheck’s townie character makes for quite an impactful and somewhat breakout supporting role.
WFG RATING: A-
DECAL presents an RKM Studios production. Director: Brandon Dermer. Producers: Jonas Delkart and Kyle Newacheck. Writer: Alisha Ketry; story by Ketry and Brandon Dermer. Cinematography: Wojciech Kielar. Editing: Andrew Wilsak.
Cast: Jillian Bell, Natalie Morales, Kyle Newacheck, Harvey Guillen, Blake Anderson, Cyrina Fiallo, Karen Maruyama.
The film will be released in select theaters, On Demand, and Digital on November 4.