I’m Totally Fine is a science fiction dramedy that deals in grief. Vanessa (Jillian Bell, Brittany Runs a Marathon) takes some time for herself after the death of her best friend and business partner Jennifer (Natalie Morales, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse). Things take a turn when she wakes up to find Jennifer claiming to be an extra-terrestrial. The alien says it will be there the next 48 hours to study humans. This also gives Vanessa a chance to spend one last weekend with her friend.
The film is filled with strong performances. Morales is fantastic as the being from another planet. While the intentionally stilted delivery takes some getting used to, Morales brings emotion and fun to the role. She is matter of fact and filled with curiosity. Bell gets a chance to show off her acting range. Vanessa is angry, frustrated, and confused, but she is also a strong woman. I’m Totally Fine can be melodramatic at times, but Bell makes sure it never feels tedious.
(Harvey Guillen also has a great cameo as a DJ who wants to party.)
I’m Totally Fine follows a predictable arc. Vanessa is initially skeptical of Jennifer, but she agrees to the observation. Over time, both learn something. Bell and Morales ensure audiences will stay invested, but it is hard to shake the feeling that there should be something deeper. The film is constantly hinting that there is a more involved discussion to be had, but it never happens.
The premise is rife with possibilities, but the film is content to never go below the surface of what Vanessa is feeling. (Strangely, it delves more into Jennifer’s change.) This is mainly due to the pacing as I’m Totally Fine races between set pieces. There are also two montages, which seems a bit much for a movie that does not quite reach an hour and a half.
It is clear what feeling I’m Totally Fine is going for, it just never hits the emotional high notes it is aiming for. The cast is excellent across the board and the story will draw audiences in. In the end, it feels like it dances around grief and loss instead of addressing either.
I’m Totally Fine opens in theaters November 4
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