April 16, 2018  (Web Review)

Sensitivity Training

Random Media, 86 min., not rated, DVD: $14.95, Mar. 6

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

Whether under a microscope, in a movie theater, or in downtown traffic, the world seems to be teeming with infectious scourges riling über-misanthrope Serena (Anna Lise Phillips). A driven scientist who researches pathogens, Serena is an acid-spewing, antisocial pariah who comes under administrative scrutiny at work after insulting a colleague with seemingly tragic consequences. With her career on the line, Serena has no choice but to be followed around by Caroline (Jill E. Alexander), a professional sensitivity trainer with a couple of doctoral degrees. The two become an instant odd couple, but even if a rapprochement is inevitable, the path there is smoothly and believably paced by first-time feature director Melissa Finell. A bevy of supporting characters—from Caroline’s skeptical wife (Tessa Goss) to Serena’s long-suffering intern (Quinn Marcus)—ably back the leads. And a couple of familiar faces (Amy Madigan, Charles Haid) briefly turn up. A delightful film, this is recommended. (T. Keogh)