Review by Sean Boelman
We don’t get a whole lot of female-led sci-fi comedies, so a pairing between Jillian Bell and Natalie Morales was an exciting prospect. Although I’m Totally Fine doesn’t entirely live up to expectations or the potential of the premise or cast, it’s an inoffensive, brisk watch that will turn few heads.
The film follows a woman who takes a trip away to clear her head after her longtime best friend dies, only for her to meet an alien taking the form of her friend to study humanity. It’s an interesting enough high-concept sci-fi premise, and it plays out almost exactly as you would expect.
With a runtime that clocks in under eighty minutes before credits, the movie is a quick in and out. However, this does come at a bit of a cost. While it is certainly tightly-wound and doesn’t have much fluff, it also leaves some of the subplots feeling underdeveloped and like they were shoved in more as a plot device than anything else.
This is the type of film that is very one-note in its humor. The movie’s jokes are all set up around the primary gag of educating an alien with no knowledge of this world. Things we as humans find mundane but could actually be seen as quite odd are lampooned throughout the film. At first, it seems as if it will go all-in on the dark humor angle, but it ultimately ends up dropping this.
The primary themes in the movie are friendship and grief, which are arguably two of the most common themes in the cinematic canon. However, even though writer Alisha Ketry might not offer much in the way of creative insight, what she says at least feels authentic, making the film feel charming if not super affecting.
Jillian Bell is largely doing her usual schtick here, with a performance that has some solid emotional moments — particularly in the third act — but is unfortunately pretty annoying. Her co-star, Natalie Morales is completely wasted in a role that requires her to do a (really bad) robot-esque voice for the entire runtime.
One of the weaker areas of the film is the character development. The arc for the protagonist is pretty standard, as she must learn to live without her best friend and soon realizes that she might not have known her as well as she thought she did. Morales’s character is given a backstory that is ludicrous but easy enough to buy into.
I’m Totally Fine is harmless enough that it’s worth a watch if you’re a fan of the two leads. It’s not a particularly memorable film — and perhaps if it had taken the dark comedy route, it could have been — but you could do worse with an eighty-minute comedy.
I’m Totally Fine is now available on VOD.