Posts Tagged ‘ improv film ’

Don’t Think Twice (2016)

…and we’re back.

Think

Good film, funny, and kind of terrifying/disturbing at times, though I doubt many would see it the same way. The film plays pretty conventionally, a bit too much so arguably, and the relationships, though solid and well acted, are a bit too clean and well put together to be entirely believable, especially considering the cutthroat, unforgiving nature of their career ambitions.

When one of the characters finally “makes it,” the film doesn’t seem to quite be able to make up its mind as to whether or not this is a good thing for him, or the other characters for that matter, resulting in their being stuck in this weird limbo of uncertainty that I guess is realistic but doesn’t make for much of an interesting story.

That’s the main issue with the film; though it speaks of passion and ambition, none of these characters ever truly reflect any of that passion or ambition in a believable manner. They all seem to want it, or seem to think they want it, and god knows they talk about wanting it, to death even, but there’s never a moment or an exchange that convincingly expresses any kind of true passion for what they’re trying to do. It’s all talk but very little gusto, if that’s the appropriate term to use there.

And it’s not because of the performances; the film is extremely well acted, especially from Keegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs who do a hell of a job handling the drama. Two comedians who can also handle drama? Who’d have thunk it?

It’s just the characters here aren’t as developed as they could have been, especially Mike Birbiglia’s character who we’re made to think is this bitter, passionate, succeed at all costs comedy loser type who then gets his “bum” handed to him multiple times throughout and reacts to each blowback with the emotional equivalent of an “eh,” except near the end where he punches a guy. But beyond that, come on man, your dream, the thing you’ve wasted most of your life pursuing, is ***SPOILERS** coming to an end with next to nothing to show for it, ***END SPOILERS** and that’s how you react? You just get a little angry and walk away? And talk about an abrupt ending. Bah.

Anyway, I did enjoy this movie, really I did, though it seems like I tore it a new one. It’s funny and emotional and extremely effective, I just thought it could have been even better had they developed the characters more.

What surprised me was that the film is a rather accurate and disturbing depiction of the desperation involved in the pursuit of fame and wealth, and the horrific sacrifices such pursuit often demands of those poor, poor artist folk who think their thoughts, words, and actions are worth paying attention to. And that’s what’s most disturbing about this film: knowing there are people just like this in many major cities in the US, in their 30s and 40s and beyond, living in squalor or near poverty, with little to no marketable or useful skills, with no other solid plans for their lives, who day in day out kill themselves in the pursuit of this ridiculous dream that ultimately probably isn’t even all that worthwhile.

And what a great Lorne Michaels-like depiction here.The creepiest moments in the film are shared by the interactions one of our main characters has with him. Changes the tone entirely every time he appeared, like something out of a horror film. Wonder how accurate that is to real life. Hmm.

Anyway, pretty good film, worth watching, and very funny!