Don’t Think Twice

#38

I finally got around to watching Mike Birbiglia’s second go at directing: Don’t Think Twice. The movie itself was overshadowed by the rating it received … R! They fell within the PG-13 rating except for a few instances of drug use. They fought against the MPAA, but that is pretty much useless. Since my reviews seem to be heading that way, maybe eventually I will get around to watching This Movie Is Not Yet Rated. But this review is not about ratings, it is about Don’t Think Twice.

I saw Sleepwalk With Me, his directorial debut … and it was fairly forgettable. Which is sad since I enjoyed his stand-up the movie was based on originally. I don’t see myself remembering this follow-up movie after this review either. It was an attempt at a serious view of improv comedians trying to make it big.

I would give this 3 “glass pipes with some green plants that get burned and make your movie rated R” out of 10.

FOR THE UNITIATED

Miles (Mike Birbiglia) heads up an improv troupe called The Commune. Everyone in the group has been struggling and stuck in a rut waiting on a big break. There is Jack (Keegan Michael Key) and Sam (Gillian Jacobs) who are two standouts that coupled up and moved out of the house. Allison or Data (Kate Micucci) is a graphic artist that has been working on a graphic novel for several years, Bill (Christ Gethard) is trying to prove he isn’t a failure to his supportive father, and Lindsay (Tami Sagher) is living off her rich parents since she can’t hold a job. 

Things change when Jack and Sam get auditions for Weekend Live (a slight nod to SNL). Jack eventually gets a spot while everyone else deals with the backlash.

THE BEST

There is obviously a lot of comedy in this movie, and there are several bits that are funny. I couldn’t figure out if the parody of Lorne Michaels was a commentary on his dryness or just hateful … but it played off as an awkward bit that might have been one of the funniest parts. The part I found funniest was after Bill’s father was hospitalized and everyone started to do impressions of him. This is something a group of friends would do to try and lift someone’s spirits by straddling the line of going too far. 

THE WORST

For a movie that tried to cast a serious light on how rough the improv world can be and what jealousy can do to friends … it ended a little too happily. Without spoiling anything, everyone coincidentally got exactly what they wanted. This movie might have gone a lot better if there were actual consequences to the actions everyone made. 

OVERALL

I didn’t have a lot to say about this movie since there isn’t a lot to say without spoiling it. The characters are all petty artists who are doing what it takes to survive. The person who does what it takes to improve his situation is looked down on by his “best” friend and then is borderline rejected by his partner because she is afraid of being honest. I found myself upset and frustrated with every character regardless … but that is more to with them being realistic. It is “free” on Netflix, but there are many more movies worthwhile. 

RECOMMENDATION 

My recommendation takes a few dots to connect. Years ago my friends and I went to the theatre on a whim and ended up watching a comedy we didn’t know anything about (a perk of free movies). The movie was written by the stars of a fairly popular improv troupe. Miss March introduced me to the Whitest Kids You Know, and I cannot be more happy with that. Miss March centers around high school friends who experience an unfortunate incident on prom night. One wakes up from a coma four years later, he decides to chase down his prom date after finding out she became a Playboy centerfold. Go watch this and a few episodes of WKUK instead of Don’t Think Twice.

Bonus Clip – Arguably the more popular sketch from WKUK

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