Pure O

Pure O was watched early from a screener. It is being released on April 12th, 2024. You can see an interview I had with Dillon Tucker, the director, here.

Cooper (Daniel Dorr) is straight up not having a good time right now. He thinks about death, too much. He thinks about killing, too much. He is in a huge depressive funk and can’t seem to snap out of it, even when recently engaged to his long term girlfriend, Emily (Hope Lauren). But when talking to his therapist (Candice Renee) about his issues, she lets him know he has OCD.

But how can this be? He doesn’t have nervous tics, he doesn’t repeat steps, he has heard of OCD before, and that isn’t him, it is just depression. A big part of it is experiencing distressing intrusive thoughts, without the compulsions. It can be categorized into specific categories of types of intrusive thoughts, but it all comes back to OCD, and is known as Pure O in the community.

Cooper, a musician, and a rehab counselor himself, really doesn’t think it is possible, but after his googling and research, he agrees to try to work on this aspect, to see if he can fix himself, to fix his relationships, and hopefully live a life free from the harms inside his brain. He knows addictions, he knows the right things to say to others, but following that advice can prove to be difficult.

Also starring Landry Bender, Jeffery A. Baker, Clint James, Hamish Patterson, and Isaac Nippert.

I bet when he stares this way at women, they also receive a Pure O.
One of those things that really bugs me is when people say they are OCD about a task, completely belittling the experiences of those who have actual forms of OCD. Does that affect this movie? Absolutely not. But bringing up how fucked up that is in any circumstance is appropriate, so that maybe someone can learn to not do that. And if it is going to happen in a movie review, why not one that deals with OCD.

Now the director, Dillon Tucker, who is also the writer, made this movie purely because it was personal to him, and telling a story about his own life, and being diagnosed with OCD. It is his story, he just doesn’t also star in it (although he did cameo as a random person also in the therapy groups).¬† And you can tell it was made by someone who really knew the story, because of all of the unexpected things added to the story. In an “OCD” story where someone is writing about it from a lack of personal experiences, it is the only part of the story. The rest of it doesn’t matter. But in this movie, it is the main framing of the story, but the main character still has to live his life. He happens to also be a counselor, and is still working with individuals dealing with addiction. He still has to plan a wedding and learn how to better himself for his fianc√©.

And honestly, Pure O, with ITS honesty, just hits all the right notes for a powerful drama. It tells a still unexpected story, that is meant to really help others through their own worries and providing some therapeutic moments on the screen for them to see. But also when it comes to ones disabilities, the more people are aware how it can affect their life, and be a constant grating pressure at all moments, might just help people stop being such assholes to each other.

This film has several intense moments. Notably a knife scene, and another character having a meltdown, but they are played so serious and so well done that it is emotionally touching for the viewer.

Off the top of my head, I know I have seen films about OCD before, but I can’t think of them right now. Because Pure O is the right one to see.

3 out of 4.