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Plot: 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.
Runtime: 92 mins Release Date: 22 Jul 2016
Great movie if you are of the creative type (by ijordiatienza)
I don't think all movies should appeal to all audiences you cannot be everything to everybody , and my guess is this film is like an "acid test" for creative people. If you are not of the creative-artistic type, the movie will probably say nothing to you. However, if you do belong to that group, you'll relate to a lot of what happens to the characters in the movie, and won't get enough of it; at least that's what happened to me.Personally, some of the situations and questions discussed in the movie that I've faced myself as a member of the aforementioned group <more>
are: * Should I water down my production, in order to end the struggle of paying the rent of every month? * When you're in your 20s, there's something romantic about living like a band of gypsies, but as time goes by and everything takes more effort... where do you draw the line? * Seeing plagiarized something you never cared to protect in the first place, because you thought there was an understanding * Chickening out in the last moment from some "big opportunity" only because your gut feeling tells you that something's not right * Inspiration the masterpiece that will come whenever vs consistency the product that, good or bad, you have to put at the door every week, following certain parameters, and nobody cares if your dad died yesterday * That idea you have in your head and never get around to putting in paper * That work you've put in paper but never get around to submitting to other people's critique because it's your baby * Soul-drying day job vs still being financed by your parents at an embarrassing age The movie, like any good movie, does not provide a single answer to these questions, but each character's individual answer. Someone said in other comment that there is no character development, and I disagree; definitely all the characters end up in a different place to where they started, with lessons learned about the world, the others, and themselves.There is a small scene that resonates a lot with me; when the protagonists meet Ben Stiller and they are kind of starstruck and overwhelming him with questions, Bill congratulates him for a Herman Monster sketch he wrote, and Stiller mumbles "that was a long time ago...". Here is the ambivalence: saying that something happened "a long time ago" is a bad thing in entertainment it means you're yesterday's news , but a good thing in art it means you've created a piece that people can revisit time after time through the years with affection . That tension is present in the whole film: are we just the court's jester, or is there something more important in stake here? The writing of the script is very subtle, it keeps growing on you after watching it again, if this is your kind of film . Even the characters that appear only once or twice have a lot to them, amazing tips of the iceberg.The choice of improvisation theater as the artistic discipline is also very wise; in all forms of art you are to some degree "putting yourself out there", but in improvisation that's perhaps more literal than in any other genre. You may have trained a lot but, when the moment comes, the piece of art is yourself, no safety net there...The actors are all great, good casting and superb interpretations. Keegan-Michael Key is great in his role as, together with Stiller, the "celebrity-who-fights-to-stay-human". His love story with Samantha Gillian Jacobs is beautiful and multi-layered, there is even a short bed scene that is treated, for a change, with humor and simple kindness, so good to see after the usual "wrestling" that seems to be mandatory for those scenes in blockbuster films... The beautiful Gillian Jacobs can communicate a lot of emotion without using words, and she also has a knack for comedy... Mike Birbiglia is great as the slightly disenchanted leader of the group, who lives in kind of a "time wrap", a windowless room where he seduces his twenty something students, waiting for the next thing to happen in his career... The enigmatic Kate Micucci is perfect in her character of Allison, the delicate and insecure girl who draws her beautiful inner world, and always can use a push from her friends.I also like the character of Lindsay Tami Sagher , perhaps the most close to "conventional" among the troupe, with the blessing of wealthy parents that support her economically, which is also a curse as it increases the pressure to "make it". And Chris Gethard is great as Bill, a reserved guy who stays true to his principles and loyal to his friends no matter what, and in whom the balance he has achieved with his dad takes a very different shape.Like I said, perhaps it's not a movie for everybody. It's an intimate kind of movie. I feel all those characters as my friends, as someone I could hang out with, but I understand that for other people, the movie can feel petty or random, like "why should they care". To each their own. :
Wonderfully tender, sensitive, and laugh-out-loud funny (by stansolomon)
If you're a true movie buff you see a LOT of films, but how often do you see a film where you TRULY CARE about what happens to the characters? Which makes "Don't Think Twice" truly unique.Maybe because the story is set in now-trendy Brooklyn, or maybe because the characters are all young and attractive esp. "Sam", Gillian Jacobs' character...Ms. Jacobs is absolutely adorable! , or maybe because I admire and respect someone who can create an alternate persona and clever dialogue in the blink of an eye which is what Improv is all about , but I was totally <more>
enthralled by this film as if I were watching people I knew and cared about. Have to admit, the ending left me a little misty-eyed."Don't Think Twice" is a charming story about the kind of seemingly-ordinary people you would pass on the street without knowing that they, once upon a stage, are 'Gods'...as the ancient Greeks believed actors were.
Improvisation is not an easy way to make a living (by Red-125)
Don't Think Twice 2016 was written and directed by Mike Birbiglia. Birbiglia also stars in the film.Some reviewers have described this movie as a light-hearted comedy, but I don't agree. I think that it's a serious movie about show business, and especially about relationships among actors in a improvisation group. Because we see great improv on screen, the movie is funny and enjoyable. But the real thrust, in my opinion, is that acting is hard, and improvisation is even harder.An improv group called The Troupe consists of several actors who have stuck together, and managed to <more>
make enough money to survive, if not to live well. One of The Troupe gets called up to the big leagues--the film's equivalent of Saturday Night Live. What happens next to the actor moving up? And, what happens to The Troupe?Not only is this film interesting and entertaining, but it provides insight into the meaning of friendship, loyalty, bonding, and group effort. Don't Think Twice leaves you laughing, but it also leaves you thinking.We saw this film on the big screen at the great Little Theatre In Rochester, NY. It will probably do almost as well on the small screen. See it if you can. You won't be disappointed.
Birbiglia's Love Letter to All Creative Performers (by follin-greg)
Written, directed by, and starring stand-up comedian Mike Birbiglia, Don't Think Twice is a heartfelt love letter to all creative performers, particularly those not so young anymore, still scrambling to make a living in a very competitive field. It must take a lot of nerve for artists to resist safer careers in more modest vocations what up accounting, I'll see you tomorrow! , and Birbiglia aims to recognize this in his very personal drama. Don't be fooled by the funny people on the poster, this is not a comedy, it's a drama ABOUT comedy.The film centers on an improv troupe <more>
of six people who are also best friends, roommates, and lovers when they are not at the offshoot theater where they perform. One of the more interesting ideas is the honest portrayal of how one might feel towards the perceived success of a good friend in a make or break industry. Sure, you're smiling on the outside, but inside "you lucky SOB."The movie also throws some serious shade at Saturday Night Live, an institution that I have to assume some of the cast auditioned for at some point in real life. Costarring Keegan-Michael Key and the lovely Gillian Jacobs, Don't Think Twice is one of a kind and worth the trip to the indie theater.
Thoughtful, surprising and genuinely entertaining (by renbostelaar)
Don't Think Twice is a tremendously satisfying film about a very specific world, and anybody familiar with the gruelling hustle of comics, writers and improvisers vying for any measure of success in those fields will recognize many of the characters and small details that Mike Birbiglia has written into this film. Outsiders, though, don't have to worry that this is all "inside baseball" for comedy nerds because the emotions and relationships that propel this film are pretty universal. Driven by a talented ensemble and featuring as many poignant moments as genuine laugh <more>
lines, this humble film may stick with you a lot longer than you'd expect.
A Realistic Movie for the Next Generation (by lizzbirkhoff)
I'm not one who usually likes an inconclusive ending, but this was an exception. Birbiglia's writing is obviously based off of experience and reality, which makes this movie a fresh breath of air. While the movie focuses around a group of comedians who are very funny when onstage, their lives aren't exactly a laugh, and that's just real life. There were sad moments, sure, but there were also happy moments, and funny moments. I don't understand the need for pure entertainment for an hour and a half. Can't we all just feel something human? If you like movies that are <more>
purely separated from reality, this isn't for you, but in my opinion, this movie was real and spoke to me. I was very excited to see this movie and I was more satisfied by the end than I thought I would be. I have recommended this film to everyone and will continue doing so. A real win by Mike Birbiglia and the rest of the cast.
"Don't Think Twice" is a movie about a group of friends who have kept alive an improv group known as "The Commune." One "show- boater" played by Michael Keegan-Key in the group lets loose during one night's performance because he knows a scout from a knock-off of "Saturday Night Live" television show will be in the audience. Lo and behold, he and his girlfriend expertly played by Gillian Jacobs land auditions while the rest of the troupe, albeit through clenched teeth, wish them good luck.I think the one huge mistake about the movie is its <more>
promotion. Billed as a "comedy," that is just an incorrect and very misleading label. Yes, there are some comedic moments, but this is a serious look about these peoples lives. When some of them come to the realization they have made it as far as they are going to make it, well, it's just painful to watch. Comedian Mike Birbiglia, who wrote and stars in this movie, is just amazing. His ensemble cast are also top-notch. One of the most poignant parts of the movie is when Gillian Jacobs' character pretends she is at the bottom of a well and replies to her boyfriend, "it's okay for me to be at the bottom."I can see why some people are disappointed, and I will strongly caution again this is NOT a knee-slapping, gut-busting comedy. It is an all too real lesson about life. Rated R for language and adult situations.
Simple, heartfelt comedy that anyone with big dreams will understand (by Movie_Muse_Reviews)
Actors, improvisers, comics or any kind of artist, really, shouldn't miss Mike Birbiglia's "Don't Think Twice." The comic-turned-actor/filmmaker journeys behind the curtain for his second film to put an honest lens on the inherent friction that occurs when artists need each other to succeed but also have their own dreams, egos and pursuits.The film focuses on a modestly successful New York-based improv troupe called the Commune, whose supportive, team-first nature as per the rules of improv gets challenged when they learn their venue is closing and one of them has <more>
gotten his big break — a spot on the cast of "Saturday Night Live" equivalent "Weekend Live."In the group are Miles Birbiglia , who at 36 has managed to make being in a troupe and teaching improv into an unglamorous but stable career; Sam Gillian Jacobs and Jack Keegan-Michael Key , the groups biggest talents who are in a relationship together; Allison Kate Miccuci , an aspiring graphic novelist; Bill Chris Gethard , another longtime performer who just wants to prove he's accomplished something; and Lindsay Tami Sagher , who is unemployed, unmotivated and still lives with her wealthy parents.All these carefully crafted characters "get by" despite their mutual struggles, until Jack gets plucked by "Weekend Live," and the group dynamics get tested in the toughest way possible. There's resentment, group members who hope to use Jack to land a writing job on the show and a lot of grappling with reality and what each of them really wants out of life.Although "Don't Think Twice" is steeped in the world of improv, and Birbiglia thematically asserts early on in the film that the rules of improv "say yes," "don't think" are echoed off stage as much as on it, his approach to writing and directing is, ironically, much more carefully planned and controlled.You can see a lot of the mechanisms at work in Birbiglia's writing play out on screen. The scenes in the film, on average, are probably a minute long each. Many are 30-second snapshots. So each scene, and in many cases each shot, have a specific objective in the arch of the story. This structure inherently reveals all of Birbiglia's cards, which is a big risk, but the film's premise is so effectively rooted in truth that it works.Critical to this payoff are the performances. When an actor is given so many short scenes with clear objectives, there's not a lot of wiggle room in the performance. You have to take what you're given and bring the additional layers of complexity; you must be a believable person within somewhat rigid confines.Jacobs does this the best, and will undoubtedly get her own big break soon unless she prefers the climate on planet indie. Her character has a somewhat atypical personal journey and Jacobs brings a lot range to it. We also see the full scope of what Key is capable of, namely that he doesn't have to be over-the-top and hilarious as he is on "Key and Peele" to be successful.To be fair, acting isn't the lone ingredient that makes this tight ship of a 92-minute film work as a movie we can all identify with. Birbiglia makes a lot of it happen behind the camera too. Balancing planning and precision with rawness and authenticity is not easy and for the most part, he manages to do it. He's most successful when he counteracts the tight writing composition with more relaxed shot composition. There's mostly hand-held camera work in the film, and a nice touch is how the improvisation scenes are filmed from the stage, not the audience. This keeps things loose and also keeps us closer to the characters, the heart of the movie.Heart is one thing Birbiglia isn't missing, but don't worry — there's plenty to laugh at too. Lots of Birbiglia's great sneak-attack humor can be found throughout. Yet the comedy isn't the takeaway here so much as the carefully honed theme of how we chase our dreams while wrestling with our realities, something so universal that it would be hard to find someone who doesn't get it. It's such a true message that even when Birbiglia gets heavy-handed, it's hard not to appreciate the nobility of his purpose. ~Steven CThanks for reading! Visit Movie Muse Reviews for more
Great insight into improv side of the comedy world and the struggles and emotions involved with trying to fulfill the dream of stardom. Both funny and touching,the film follows the ups and downs of each member of an improv troupe as they attempt to find their niche while dealing with day to day struggles with family, relationships and each other. It doesn't have light sabers or magical creatures, but if you can get past that because you're an intelligent adult with a sense of humor then I would recommend this film. The casting was perfect and I've added this film to a short list <more>
of movies that I can go back to at anytime and enjoy.