Dealing with anxiety can be an awful experience, especially when every little action of yours brings up images of all the worse outcomes. You exit your house and get shot by an arrow. You go to your therapist and they scream in your face about how annoying you are. You try to ask out your attractive neighbour only for them to gloat of all the local housewives they have been sleeping with. This is Tyler’s everyday life as he deals with his analysis paralysis disorder.
Tyler (Jason T. Gaffney) is recently diagnosed with the anxiety disorder, analysis paralysis, a disorder which causes the person to over think situations and play out incredibly unlikely scenarios in their head. To help deal with his condition, Tyler’s therapists sets him the task of completing one simple task and for Tyler that is asking out his next door neighbour Shane (Kevin Held). As their relationship develops and the two become closer, Tyler’s anxiety continues to cause trouble as the visions of horrible events keep haunting his every interaction with Shane. When a meeting with Shane’s parents ends less than perfect, Tyler panics about how it went and worries how it could affect the relationship moving forward.
Refreshingly, Analysis Paralysis does a fantastic job of portraying a very real anxiety disorder in a light hearted manner. Often the stigmas of anxiety are so often associated with films that are much more serious and of a darker tone but here director/ actor Jason T. Gaffney have effectively been able to combine both the real fears that are coupled with dating while also including plenty of comedy to lighten the mood. The movie is very sex positive while being able to throw in some great jokes about the awkwardness that comes with sex and new relationships. The use of a well known Irish song over the top of the couple’s first night spent together is bound to cause some laughs.
The film is well paced, always building upon Tyler and Shane’s relationship without ever feeling rushed. The unique feature of rewinding time to show Tyler’s analysis paralysis at work is an effective way that allows for all sorts of crazy scenarios to play out, from Tyler forgetting his pants while answering the door, to suddenly being questioned like a criminal on the witness stand by Shane and a very monotone waiter. A particular moment that stands out is Tyler’s plan which features drawings and writings pinned to the wall in a Wes Anderson-esque style. The little hidden notes you see are amazing details that help sell Tyler as a fully fleshed out character and make him someone we want to spend more time with and see grow as a person.
What makes Analysis Paralysis stand out is that the story and anxieties experienced by Tyler feel real. They are feelings of fear, hope and what ifs that have plagued everyone in some way or the other. Coming from director Jason Gaffney’s own experience with anxiety, Analysis Paralysis is a modern look at mental health with a positive spin which looks at both the negatives and positives of dating with a disorder. The film is charming throughout and with an incredible witty script that will keep you surprised. Being able to creatively combine imaginative anxiety inducing scenarios with realistic emotions, Analysis Paralysis is worth every moment.