When we sat down to review our preview screener of Bay Area native and young filmmaker Leah Meyerhoff's Twitch, somehow we didn't realize it was a short, not even when the DVD itself seemed to indicate that it was only ten minutes long. We made up for our lack of paying attention by watching the film four times, to make sure we could review it thoroughly for you before you see it at the SF Indie Fest.
Twitch is a vignette about an unnamed teenaged girl (none of the characters has a name) whose mother has multiple sclerosis. The daughter (Emma Galvin in the film's strongest performance) pities her mother (Toni Meyerhoff), taking care of her more out of duty than out of love. The girl, irrationally worried about catching MS through contact, scrubs herself after each encounter with her mother and has apparently visited a gynecologist several times to make sure she's actually not sick. She escapes to her boyfriend (Peter Corrie), who's far less interested in her hypochondria than he is in getting laid.
The movie is an apology from Leah Meyerhoff to her mother, Toni Meyerhoff, who actually has MS and portrays the mother in the film, which is based on the younger Meyerhoff's teenaged anger toward and resentment of her mother's illness. This is the problem: since we know the movie is an apology, we see the unsympathetic actions of the daughter as somewhat redeemed in the future. The movie itself, however, just shows a self-centered, scared girl looking in vain for the wrong things from the people in her life: she seeks physical affection from her mother, who can only offer emotional connection; she wants her boyfriend to listen to her and validate her feelings and fears, but all he wants is sex.
Click here to read the full review.