Keli (keli) wrote in capturing_skeet,
Keli
keli
capturing_skeet

Touch is a comedy about man's nature: Miracle healer comes to town (Date: February 21, 1997)

`Touch' is a comedy about man's nature: Miracle healer comes to town.

Based on an Elmore Leonard novel, "Touch" is a comedy about a modern day saint with the power to heal. Juvenal (Skeet Ulrich) is a former Franciscan monk who left the Brazil to come to Los Angeles and work in the Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center. Word of his miracles which have healed the blind and cured cancer leaks out and Juvenal attracts the attention of an ambitious evangelist without a church, Bill Hill (Christopher Walken). Bill is sick of selling RV's and sees Juvenal as a way back into the big money game of selling God to the masses. Meanwhile, August Murray (Tom Arnold), the fanatical leader of an ultra-conservative Catholic group, sees Juvenal as a sign from God and a tool to gain national attention.



Juvenal is a pleasant young man who takes people as they come and the Rehab Center is very protective of him. So, Bill engages his former cohort, Lynn Faulker (Bridget Fonda) to infiltrate Sacred Heart and get close to Juvenal. Lynn works with a big-time record promoter and Bill knows that she'll be an asset to his scheme. What he doesn't count on is the powerful effect the saintly Juvenal has on Lynn. His purity fascinates her and witnessing his power complete with stigmata stuns her. They quickly fall in love. Meanwhile, August grows angrier with each passing day as Juvenal explores connubial bliss and decides to work with Bill. The race is on to see who will profit from Juvenals's gift?

Paul Schrader made a career making, dark moody movies, about human fears and weaknesses and it's wonderful to see him poke fun at contemporary greed and religious fanaticism. While he utilizes the talent of a wonderfully large cast that also includes Janeane Garofalo, as a skeptical reporter, and Gina Gershon, as a barracuda talk show hostess, "Touch" also has made a living playing evil characters. Tom Arnold, who bombed last year in three starring roles, is excellent. Furthermore, Skeet Ulrich, who is superb, has great chemistry with Bridget Fonda. This talented young actor stars in "Scream," the Wes Craven horror film, and he projects an alluring image of liquid sex. Handsome, personable and deliciously captivating with a goatee, Ulrich is very hot and adds a sensual quality to the gentle character of Juvenal.

"Touch" is a smart, hilarious comedy about modern man's cynical nature.

TALKING TO THE STARS: As 27-year-old Skeet Ulrich answers questions about his latest film, it's clear that he has withered under the intense media spotlight. Born Bryan Ray Ulrich, the young actor recently caught the critic's attention with wonderful performances in the Christmas hit, "Scream." He can also be seen in Kevin Spacey's "Albino Alligator with Faye Dunaway and opposite Winona Ryder in "Boys." But, Ulrich spends a great deal of his time fielding questions about his handsomeness which resembles Johnny Depp.

"I think for me it added a little wisdom," says Ulrich, whose goatee is reminiscent of one of Depp's characters, too. "The parallels are certainly not intentional. For me, it's flattering in a way. I like his work. He seems to be a really nice guy. I've never met him."

So, what was it like playing a guy, who appears to be normal but, performs miracles? "The biggest thing I learned about playing Juvenal was how to refine that purity and innocence that we start out with and life slowly eats away at." Ulrich said. "How do we get back in touch with what we truly are? That goodness which exists in all of us, but for whatever reason gets blocked."

Getting the role in "Touch" has been a major step in building a solid career for Ulrich, who was first spotted in a New York University undergraduate production by David Mamet. Working closely with Mamet, Ulrich appeared in productions of "Hedda Gabler" and "Reckless."

"This part and Schrader -- to get to work with these guys and Bridget is wonderful. They have 50 times the experience and to get to sit back and incorporate that stuff. It was amazing! says Ulrich, who found the experience delightful. "It can also be extremely intimidating. When you do a scene with Chris Walken, whose chewing the scenery and you have to stay humble in your acting. It's a big challenge."

And, what about Juvenal, the lover? "To me, it was always a romance with this cyclone of activity going on around it," he says. "That was the challenge-to stay centered."

Ulrich will certainly emerge as a major heart throb for the moviegoers. He can be seen in two upcoming films, "Old Friends," in which he plays a gay street hustler and Richard Linklater's "The Newton Boys" which also features Matthew McConaughey ad Ethan Hawke.

From: Philadelphia Tribune, The | Date: February 21, 1997
Tags: 1997 articles, reviews, skeet ulrich, touch
Subscribe

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments