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Reach Out and Touch Someone is a 2014 American Dark Comedy Drama film written and directed by Seth MacFarlane starring Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Emma Roberts, Justin Bartha, Ethan Embry, Chris Rock, Viola Davis and Mila Kunis.

The film was a phenomenal box office success and was universally well received by critics.

It secured an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and three other Oscar Nominations among many other award nominations and wins.

The Oscar Nominations were for Best Actor: Dustin Hoffman, Best Supporting Actress: Emma Roberts and Best Supporting Actor: Chris Rock.

Actors Hoffman and Rock as well as actresses Roberts and Davis secured Golden Globes for their respective roles.

The film earned triple it's budget size and rejuvinated the career of actor Ethan Embry who had converted to television after failing to continue in large mainstream film.

It earned critical attention for director/writer/producer MacFarlane who is globally known for the hit animated television shows Family Guy and American Dad, who had only previously made the jump into film with the hit 2012 comedy Ted, which also starred Mila Kunis and featured Hollywood A-List Actor Wahlberg portraying the lead role.

Following the film's success MacFarlane was greenlit a sequel to the hit comedy Ted and granted the chance to create another project he had written that year.

Universal Studios however had initially thought to decline his idea as it wasn't along the lines of his comic genius but rather a very dark, daylight set dramedy.

He however raised half the budget on his own means and his passion to make the project impressed the chairmen of Universal and by November 17th, 2012 the project was greenlit for production.

Casting began on January 12th, 2013 with the casting having been completed on January 20th, 2013.

MacFarlane had actor Jamie Foxx originally in mind to portray the part of closet homosexual Lars Emmet but he dropped the project due to scheduling conflicts and to his surprise in the open auditions for the part came in comedic actor Chris Rock, who MacFarlane deemed would fit the comedic side of the character but he originally believed would not be able to flesh out the broken misery of the conflicted character.

However after reading only two paragraphs, one concerning an intimate moment between him and Anthony Thimball and a heated moment between him and abusive mother Lia Emmet he secured the part.

Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep were both who MacFarlane modelled the character Lana Robertson on but ultimatley Mirren declined an audition and Streep came in for auditioning to MacFarlane and Universal's astonishment stating she loved the story, characters, script and sincerity of the character he modelled after her and Mirren.

Principal Casting then followed Rock and Streep with them focusing on the Thimball Brothers: Actors Logan Lerman, Chris Massoglia, Nicholas Hoult and Adam Brody were considered for the part of the begrieved younger Thimball Arthur whilest Embry was who the part was written for: MacFarlane stating on account of his leading part in the hit 1998 teenage comedy Can't Hardly Wait.

However all the considered actors for the part of Arthur declined the part except for Massoglia who came into audition but after reading the rest of the material declined stating the character to be too difficult.

Ultimatley Hangover, The New Normal and Failure To Launch star Justin Bartha came in for Arthur and was asked to read lines aside Embry and the two then secured the roles.

Casting closed with the lead dying father Julius Caesar and his estranged daughter Cassie Gillis.

Actresses Shailene Woodley, Kirsten Prout, Bella Heathcote and Kay Panabaker auditioned for the part of Cassie and Oscar nominated actress Anna Kendrick was called into audition but pulled due to scheduling conflicts.

Eventually actress Emma Roberts came into audition and almost immediatley secured the role, being described as simply astounding, terrifying and broken beautiful by MacFarlane.

Actor Robert De Niro was considered for the part of Julius Caesar as was actor Stanley Tucci but ultimatley when a spec script was sent through to De Niro for reading he passed the part over to actor Hoffman who he had famously colloborated with on Meet The Fockers and it's sequel.

Hoffman was immediatley entranced by the part and came in for auditioning.

His manneurisms and sheer awkwardness in asking MacFarlane questions in concern to the character secured him the lead without a warranted audition.

Actresses Panabaker and Prout who had auditioned for the role of the Cassie were called back to fill the added in roles of two supporting characters who serve as Cassie's only friends apart from a role played out by actor Daniel Franceze.

Casting then closed as the narrator character Dr. Hartley was closed for MacFarlane himself and his wife and son were filled by cameo performances from prestigious Oscar nominated actress Amy Adams and Hugo star Asa Butterfield.

Plot

Julius Caesar (Dustin Hoffman) is an obsessive compulsive 64 year old single tertiary writer diagnosed with terminal cancer.

He is given exactly seven days before his life will inevitably end and is checked into the care of a one Dr. Hartley McGuilles (Seth MacFarlane).

Dr. Hartley helps Julius to break free of his usual daily, lonely routine in order to re-connect with any immediate or distant family he has.

In scouting the city of Chicago Julius discovers he still has his active daughter given up at birth currently living in the city, Cassandra "Cassie" Gillis (Emma Roberts).

His first attempts at entering Cassie's life are pushed away and in consulting with Dr. Hartley he is advised to branch out and also make friends, which in turn can teach him to reach his daughter.

He comes to befriend the homosexual corner store market manager Anthony Thimball (Ethan Embry) who possesses an in the closet boyfriend Lars Emmet (Chris Rock) who is weighed down by his poor, abusive, alcoholic homophobic mother Lia Emmet (Viola Davis) who is pushing him to become a doctor and marry a beautiful woman who will bear children.

Julius jumps in to aid Anthony and Lars and then comes back into Cassie's life.

He discovers Cassie to be a Yoga Instructor who also suffers from severe OCD like himself, that she had been shipped from foster home to foster home for the entirety of her life until ending up with a one Sandra Gillis (Loretta Swit) whom she moved out of's care in with foster runaways Diane (Kirsten Prout) and Jess (Kay Panabaker).

Cassie has has a compulsive attraction to Yoga guy Arthur Thimball (Justin Bartha) a bereaved widow who lost his wife in a tragic car accident and still in delusion sees her.

Julius works towards getting the two together and ultimatley succeeds courtesy of a masquerade ball funded for Julius on account of the legendary windy city writer dying.

During an announcement made following a passionate dance Cassie shares with Arthur Julius is revealed as dying and Cassie becomes enraged runs out with Arthur in pursuit.

Then Lars is busted kissing Anthony at the ball by Lia who proceeds to slapa him multiple times in the face and yell obsentities at him and Anthony.

Lars then leaves with Lia and Anthony is left to be comforted by Julius before he leaves wanting to be alone/

Julius then comes to run in with a peculiar woman named Lana Robertson (Meryl Streep) at Anthony's corner store.

Lana is a fan os Julius' novels and garners Julius' instant attraction.

Julius then brings forth the news of everything that has happened to Dr. Hartley and tells about the woman he has met and believes he has fallen for.

Dr. Hartley advises on seeking support from not just him but this woman he has met.

He then discovers she operates as a publisher at his favourite booksellers and asks her out on a date.

The two congrengate and she agrees to help him reconnect with his daughter completely, stating she knows his situation telling she had a daughter once and agrees to help him help Anthony and Lars with their complicated relationship.

Lana advises Justin on approaching Cassie and telling the full forward truth about everything in order to get her back and to help Anthony and Lars help have Lia's abuse be brought to the spotlight.

As Julius succeeds in making amends with Cassie he comes to find Anthony hospitilized at home as Lia Emmet had her brother and his friends brutally attack him.

Julius then finds Lia's brother and his friends at a local bar and attacks them.

Cassie follows him to the bar and joins in on the fight and knocks down everyone with colossal force.

The two then end up imprisoned overnight and released on bail by Lana who Julius introduces her to Cassie.

Cassie seems surprised in meeting her and Cassie then comes to be invited to dinner at the Thimball home by Arthur where she meets his brother Anthony, his disapproving parents who dislike her and Lars who makes it to dinner.

The parents argue with Arthur in the kitchen over Cassie's mental health and how he has still not gotten over his deceased wife Samantha.

Cassie overhears and goes to leave but then Arthur spotting her begins to chase her and Julius and Anthony bring forth the issue themselves to the parents.

The group come to get drunk at a neighbouring bar to the one where Julius and Cassie engaged in the brawl with Uncle Emmet and his friends who attacked Anthony.

They then all come back to Anthony's apartment and end up passing out.

Cassie wakes up with Arthur at a point in the night and they proceed to go swimming in a water undercroft near Anthony's apartment.

Lars then awakes and wakes Anthony.

As they leave Anthony glances down at a still asleep Julius in the same glance Cassie gave him before leaving the apartment with Arthur.

The two then head back to Lars home where he properly introduces him to his mother who apologizes for everything and sees his damaged face, she then hugs him.

Cassie and Arthur meanwhile go from the water undercroft to Cassie's yoga studio where they passionatley dance before heading to return to Anthony's apartment.

Julius is then shown awakening to Lana waiting at the door of the apartment, she ushers him out and they head down to Anthony's corner store.

There she goes to kiss him and vanishes.

He then sees a bookstand with the name of his favourite booksellers: Robertson & Lana.

Cassie and Arthur come back to Anthony's apartment and discover a lifeless Julius.

Arthur attempts CPR to no success and Cassie becomes frozen and breaks screaming uncontrollably.

Anthony and Lars then return to the apartment to discover the scene.

Dr. Hartley takes a day off the following day and clears his meeting with set patients the following day to spend time at home with his wife and son who possesses ADHD.

Cassie the following day bids a contemporary goodbye to Diane and Jess as she goes to stay with her former adoptive mother Sandra.

Down in Palm Beach where Sandra resides comes Arthur accompanied by his parents who sit down with Cassie and Sandra for a thanksgiving dinner.

Anthony spends thanksgiving with Lars at he and Lia's home talking happily with her.

Anthony and Cassie at their respective places take a moment to remember Julius and Cassie and Anthony excusing themselves to enter the seperate bathrooms of their locations and utter Julius' repeated confidence enducing line: Liberate.

Cast

  • Dustin Hoffman as Julius Caesar
  • Meryl Streep as Lana Robertson
  • Emma Roberts as Cassie Gillis
  • Ethan Embry as Anthony Thimball
  • Chris Rock as Lars Emmet
  • Justin Bartha as Arthur Thimball
  • Viola Davis as Lia Emmet
  • Tom Courtnenay as Everett Thimball
  • Marlo Thomas as Alexandra Thimball
  • George Carlin as Arkin Stannfeld
  • Loretta Swit as Sandra Gillis
  • Ian Somerhalder as LeRoy Noble
  • Anziz Ansari as Julian Knight
  • Anna Torv as Deceased Samantha Thimball
  • Kirsten Prout as Diana Iliane
  • Kay Panabaker as Jessica Lynch

& Featuring

  • Seth MacFarlane as Dr. Hartley McGuilles
  • Amy Adams as Renee McGuilles
  • Asa Butterfield as Simon McGuilles
  • Mila Kunis as Regina Kellerman

Soundtrack

  1. Hands Open- Snow Patrol
  2. Delivery- Babyshambles
  3. Washington- Holy Moses
  4. I Don't Feel Like Dancing- Scissor Sisters
  5. The Belle Of Chicago- John Phillip Sousa
  6. Chicago- The Purple Harts
  7. Convoy- C.W McCall
  8. Everything- Dawn Xiana Moon
  9. Crook County- Twista
  10. Put Your Records On- Corinne Bailey Rae