R | 1h 32min | Comedy, Drama
Review - Matt Mungle
*Now playing in select theaters*
Synopsis: When a member of a popular New York City improv troupe gets a huge break, the rest of the group - all best friends - start to realize that not everyone is going to make it after all
Review: DON'T THINK TWICE is one of the most honest and candid films to come out in a while. Writer/Director Mike Birbiglia pens a script that peels back the layers of self confidence to show the insecure fragile heart beating underneath. Though set in the world of live entertainment the story crosses to nearly every vocation and dreamer.
The fictional film follows six friends who live, breath, eat, and sleep together as they struggle to keep their improv troupe flourishing in NY. They each have a goal of making it to Weekend Live - a not so subtle reference to SNL - and even if they are rooting for each other on the outside they each want to make it themselves for before the creative curtain closes for good. When one of them does break through to the big time it causes the others to examine their own lives and feelings. What comes out is not always pretty.
Birbiglia also stars in the film as the older member of the group. His character Miles is a 36 year old acting coach and comedy writer who has the most at stake. He watches his friends go through personal and vocational ups and downs but their friendship, and comedy, is the tether that constantly grounds them and gets them through to the next day.
The conversations in this film are poignant and heart searching. Doing improv together calls for a level of trust and openness that few ever experience. This allows them to say things and express emotions that would be uncomfortable for most. It is often brutal and you get the feeling that it stems from inner frustration and envy. There is a bond of love but the pressure of success is causing tiny fissures that could burst open at any moment.
The cast (Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci,Tami Sagher, Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Gethard) is hilarious in spite of the films many dramatic moments. They poke fun at each other without ever making fun. Again there is a common thread that allows for this type of banter. What may sound mean is received, except for a few occasions, with love.
DON'T THINK TWICE is a film all young adults should see. Most will draw from it perspective and soul searching concepts. The characters are likable and the friendship believable. It is rated R for language and some drug use. It is not crude and nothing is spoken for the sake of shock or attention. It is real dialogue from real people. It feels more like a documentary and you often forget you are watching a fictional group. I give it 4 out of 5 bad days. Don't think twice about seeing it. Ok, yes I did that. I am sorry.