It is unlikely that you’ve ever heard of Porter Lynn, but after you take one look at Cinema Libre’s May 28 release of writer/director Minh Duc Nguyen’s romantic drama, Touch, you might just be on the lookout for her next film.
At first glance the story might seem to be about Brendan (John Ruby — Ricky), the auto mechanic, but this is her film … both for her performance as the guide, mentor and lover in her “friendship” with her dirty-nail customer, but also for the wide range of emotions that she displays in her relationship with her ever-demanding “old school” father (played by Long Nguyen — Seven Psychopath, First Morning, etc.). She has to be passive, loving, insightful and tough.
As the story goes, Tam (Porter Lynn) works at V.I.P. Nails as a manicurist and by luck of the draw she gets a local auto mechanic with a problem. In this all-female shop, he seems like a fish out of water, but his hands are a mess in general and his nails are seemingly beyond repair. To make matters worse, his shrew-of-a-wife is beginning to make demands … no sex until you clean up your act (their marriage is in more trouble than just dirty nails).
At first Tam appears to be just another face across the table, working on one customer after the next. Her father wants her to be a doctor; a professional, and working as a lowly manicurist is driving him crazy — it doesn’t help that his dreams of a better life in America have taken another blow, an accident has left him wheelchair-bound (that only adds to his frustrations).
It’s not that Tam is an underachiever, it’s just that she is not sure what she wants in life and is willing to take some time for herself to find out. The auto mechanic with the dirty nails seems like an unlikely path for her, but after some initial awkward conversations (Brendan actually seems a little creepy at first) she begins to warm to him.
They eventually become friends — and more — which puts an even greater strain on her relationship with her father. Somehow Tam has to navigate between these two very different worlds.
Filmmaker Minh Duc Nguyen (film editor-turned-director) delivers a bittersweet script, the production values are top-notch (for an indie film) and Porter Lynn absolutely nails it (metaphorically-speaking)!
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