“ANALYSIS PARALYSIS”— The Intersection of Imagination and Anxiety


The Intersection of Imagination and Anxiety

Amos Lassen

Jason Gaffney’s “Analysis Paralysis” is a gay romantic comedy about the intersection of imagination and anxiety, and the courage to go after love. Tyler O’Conner (Jason Gaffney), a young gay author, visits a therapist and discovers that he suffers from an anxiety disorder commonly called “Analysis Paralysis” (an inability to take action without imagining the ways that each possible choice could go wrong). Unchecked, the condition will lead Tyler into a state of complete inaction. In order to confront it, Tyler decides to fight through his anxiety and ask his neighbor, Shane (Kevin Held), out for coffee. Even with all of Tyler’s imagined imagined disasters, the date goes well, and Shane and Tyler become involved. Against all odds, the relationship moves forward.

In hopes of bringing gay romantic comedies back to a higher standard than of late, “Analysis Paralysis” really tries but has some serious problems. Don’t get me wrong—this is not a bed movie and I see it as an attempt to raise standards over some of the futile attempts we have had lately.

We have the two actors playing off each other for the entire length of the film but unfortunately they are not strong enough to hold our attention throughout.
Tyler’s condition causes him to imagine all the possible ways that a possible choice or a situation could go wrong. If not handled head on, this condition will lead Tyler into a state of complete inertia. His therapist asks him to deal directly with it by facing his biggest fear, which is his crush on his neighbor Shane. He fights his anxiety and asks Shane out and the date goes well. Tyler eventually confides in Shane about his disorder and Shane supports him well. The relationship keeps moving forward but  Tyler keeps imagining all things that could go wrong. He becomes convinced that Shane is leaving as a result of an uncomfortable interaction with Shane’s mom and dad. Tyler prepares himself for what he sees as the inevitable rejection but Shane has plans to propose him and be there for him forever. We are left wondering if this is a true story or did just Tyler imagine a whole life even before actually asking Shame out for a date?

There are repeated scenes of situations that could go wrong got and I found this bothersome. Yet, eventually it began to be quite funny. Some of the situations that Tyler would imagine were very clever but it did take a while before the multiple scenarios became interesting. The two main characters have excellent chemistry and fed off each other very well.

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