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This Closeness movie review & film summary (2024)

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This Closeness movie review & film summary (2024)

That’s a type of intimacy. So is the relationship between Ben and his childhood friend Lizzie (Jessie Pinnick), who don’t see each other that often but share a deep personal history. Ben and Tessa are in town for Ben’s high school reunion, and Tessa is feeling insecure seeing a side of her boyfriend that isn’t accessible to her. They have their own intimacy as a couple, of course, although they can be quite mean to one another. That implies another form of intimacy: knowing exactly what to say to hurt someone. 

There are many shades of closeness and distance. Sexual intimacy is different from the intimacy of putting someone to bed when they’re drunk, for example. Both are vulnerable positions to be in, but one changes the course of a relationship, and the other doesn’t. “This Closeness” carefully considers, if not all of these forms, enough of them to paint a thoughtful portrait of urban alienation. At first, Zauhar’s project for the film isn’t obvious, but once it clicks into place, the movie becomes a richer experience. 

One element that sets “This Closeness” apart is its interest in Tessa’s job as an ASMR YouTuber. In practice, it’s a lot of clicking your nails on things, but a scene where Tessa demonstrates how she uses a microphone to create tingly feelings is fascinating in a procedural way. This movie definitely believes in ASMR and portrays Tessa’s abilities as near-magical; it’s the one time it gets even slightly surreal, using horror-movie music and rhythmic breathing on the soundtrack to alter the audience’s consciousness. 

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