March 27, 2023
I'm Totally Fine is a weird and sweet sci-fi tale about letting go

I’m Totally Fine is a weird and sweet sci-fi tale about letting go

Jillian Bell and Natalie Morales in I'm Totally Fine

Vanessa (Jillian Bell) and Jennifer (Natalie Morales), except it’s not really Jennifer, in I’m absolutely fine.
Image: Courtesy of Decal

Two people don’t care pain in the same way, and no two situations involving dealing with terrible loss are ever the same. But Vanessa (Jillian Bell) may have the most unique grief experience ever when she encounters a extraterrestrial (Natalie Morales) watching exactly like Jennifer, his lifelong best friend who recently passed away and whom he misses dearly.

This bizarre, heartbreaking, but ultimately cathartic encounter unfolds through I’m totally fine, a melancholic new comedy from director Brandon Dermer and writer Alisha Ketry. Along with Bell and Morales, the cast also presents a small but fun turn by What we do in the shadows‘ Harvey Guillén – so if you ever wanted to see Guillermo play a DJ chipper who keeps party drugs in his bag of records, you have a reason to watch I’m totally fine.

But while Guillén is delightful, the film belongs to Bell. When we first meet her character, she’s crying in her car on the side of the road, determined to carry on a weekend that was supposed to be a party celebrating her and Jen’s business success. Instead, it’s Vanessa alone in a rental mansion, dealing with raw angst, popping Xanax and losing herself in champagne brought in by caterers who insist on throwing the party she’s already paid for but won’t. do not want. The next morning, she wakes up with a raging hangover to find that Jen is somehow alive again and hanging around the house with her, and immediately assumes she’s losing her mind.

Image for article titled I'm Totally Fine I'm Totally Fine is a weird and sweet sci-fi tale about letting go

Image: Courtesy of Decal

It’s a valid concern, even when the woman resembling Jen – who has awkward body language, speaks in a monotonous voice, inadvertently drains the battery life of any nearby device, and drinks gallons of olive oil – assures her: “I am not Jen. I am simply an alien who took her form. She is a “species observation agent”, teleported to Earth for 48 hours to observe her pre-selected subject. Vanessa is still unsure of her own sanity, but when Alien Jen reveals that she has all of Human Jen’s memories, Vanessa agrees to play along, thinking to herself, “It might be fun to see how much I can become unstable!”

You can probably already see where I’m totally fine steers – hurt feelings and hard truths are aired and the emotional roller coaster spins multiple times; you strength I’m not predicting Papa Roach’s multiple chants, but the road to get there feels authentic. The storyline offers a satisfying exploration of wish-fulfillment, as who would not do you want to spend another 48 hours with a deceased loved one, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof, to say all the things you wish you had said, have fun together one last time, and come to a much-needed conclusion?

Morales is endearing as an alien who jumps when she begins to attend to her research subject, but Jillian Bell is the heart of the film. Bell has a lengthy comedy resume, but her work here builds on the performance she gave in 2019 Brittany is running a marathon—another story of a complicated woman going through major life changes. Somehow, Bell’s character feels just as grounded and relatable here, anchoring a story that feels deeply heartfelt despite the wacky sci-fi plot twist at its center.

Image for article titled I'm Totally Fine I'm Totally Fine is a weird and sweet sci-fi tale about letting go

Image: Courtesy of Decal

I’m totally fine hits theaters, digital and on demand on November 4.

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