For Reel


Don’t Think Twice (2016)
October 3, 2016, 10:22 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Mike Birbiglia
3 Stars
dont-think-twice“Fall, and then figure out to do on the way down,” is the artistic credo of one of the improv comics in Don’t Think Twice, comedian Mike Birbiglia’s examination of the jealousies and despairs of a group of comedians who love to work with one another but nonetheless believe they deserve better. The openness of being “in the moment” is reflected by the way these characters live their lives—long term planning is inconsequential, because every one of them self-imposes their own stasis while waiting for the call from “Weekend Live,” which would promise them a ticket out of their miserable jobs and entertainment obscurity. If the film sometimes falters in its underdeveloped subplots (including one of the troupe members’ dealings with a terminally ill father), it is rife with brutally honest character moments. In one scene, Keegan-Michael Key’s Jack showboats to talent scouts despite the disapproval of his peers. Whereas the film doesn’t vilify Jack for taking advantage of the situation, it demonstrates just how tenuous the bonds between the characters are when the stakes are high. While the ethos of improv comedy is reliant on trusting one another, Don’t Think Twice is not so seduced by the artform that it can’t reveal what a sham these bonds can be when put under pressure.

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