R, 92 minutes, Drama
Growing up, there were two comedy shows that reigned supreme: Saturday Night Live and its lesser competitor MadTV. I feel like these two occupy different realities as I grew out of SNL, but never stopped loving MadTV. I found it be sketch comedy perfection. Perhaps because it wasn’t as notorious, so the actors always had to be on top of their game, but I never wanted it to end. It did, of course, with the exception of a small revival, but two of its later cast members, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, have made the most of their time since then.
Don’t Think Twice follows The Commune, an improv troupe in love with their own work. The tight-knit group of comedians are put through the ringer when faced with the crushing reality of their hopes and dreams going up in smoke. New opportunities and feelings of betrayal begin to crumble the loving relationship the troupe once had.
This film is an intimate look at the struggles of becoming a comedian, but I feel like it’s more biography of Birbiglia–or even Key. Or Amy Poehler. Heck, it could be about anyone in the industry. However, I’m more attached to Key due to his involvement with MadTV, plus his character’s dream of being on “Weekend Live” fleshes out the process of moving up in the world. This doesn’t overshadow the other intertwining plots, but I focused on him possibly out of sheer familiarity. I couldn’t help but wonder if Key’s old life fell apart after he got the call to join the cast of Mad. It made me think of all the what-ifs he must have gone through…
Unsurprisingly, the cinematography is just actors on camera, but that’s not what this story is about. That’s just it: it’s a story, not a film. A look into a way of life I’ll never have; a drama of being an underdog. The layman will never understand you, but screw it, you’re passionate about your work and at least you have friends. It is the heart and soul of art itself. Perhaps I’m being gooshy here, but having my own “struggling artist” personal mindset allows me to really relate to this movie. I FEEL FOR YOU, MADE UP CHARACTERS!!!
That being said, this movie may not be for everyone, but it’s still a solid drama with plenty going on to keep you engaged. Honestly, it’s more than I expected it to be. I thought it was going to be a comedy, but (and in a good way) I was wrong. Give it a go if you’re foolish enough to consider yourself a dreamer.
Rating: Watch it.
Watch: Because it’s an excellent look at a world you probably don’t understand.
Don’t watch: If you’re not a drama fan and you’re just not that curious about comedians.