Don’t Think Twice

Don’t Think Twice

Rated R

Running Time: 92 Minutes

Director: Mike Birbiglia

Starring: Gillian Jacobs, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Birbiglia, Tami Sagher, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard, Kati Rediger, Gary Richardson

Plot: An improv comedy group in New York struggles with the financial burden that couples pursuing such an irrelevant art form, until one of them gets discovered by a Saturday Night Live analogue and the group begins to splinter and bicker about hidden jealousies and personal insecurities. It’s kind of like the third day of a college road trip.

Review: Don’t Think Twice really nails the tone of what it’s like attending an improv show; It’s funny about 5% of the time and depressing the rest of it. That’s not to say it’s a bad movie, but I was expecting it to have more comedy than it did. This is a pretty straightforward drama with jokes in it. Now, I’ll admit that it’s my own fault for thinking that a movie about improv performers would be funny. It was a ridiculous assumption on my part; like assuming that a movie about theater kids would be happy. That’s just not the way things are.

The movie is good at doing what it does. It is well written and all of the characters and what they’re experiencing feel real. That is with the exception of how regularly Birbiglia seems to be having sex with attractive twenty-somethings. That seemed a little far-fetched, but they are also all comedians so I guess you could chalk it up to having daddy-issues or low self-esteem. On closer inspection, maybe it’s not that far-fetched after all. Awkward social situations abound in this one, and made me feel embarrassed by proxy once or twice. If I want to watch something that’s going to make me feel embarrassed I’m sure my parents have some family videos from when I was in junior high that I can dig up. I don’t need those feelings forced upon me.

Overall I guess Don’t Think Twice works. I do wish it had been funnier. Birbiglia’s a funny writer and it would have been nice if this had showcased that more. Even so, this is the best job Gillian Jacobs has done to date, and Key’s performance really surprised me. Not to mention Gary Richardson plays one of the best shitty characters I’ve ever seen. He’s a real obnoxious dick-hole. There are a fair number of cameos, too, albeit most of whom you won’t recognize if you aren’t into alt comedy. If you like dramas and alt comedians this has both. Or maybe you just like movies that make you feel a bit uncomfortable. If the latter is the case you should be sure to check out some of my family movies; I promise they should do the trick.

 

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