Mike Birbiglia’s follow up to Sleepwalk With Me (which Erich reviewed earlier this year), is an independent masterpiece. Once again Birbiglia is able to combine his style of comedy, honest and offbeat, with pure emotion.
Don’t Think Twice is about an improv comedy troupe on the verge of shutting down, while two members get auditions for a faux-Saturday Night Live. This movie explores that meaning of happiness and following a defunct dream. The ensemble cast of Keegan Michael-Key, Mike Birbiglia, Gillian Jacobs, Chris Gethard. Kate Micucci and Tami Sagher have such amazing chemistry it’s easy to get lost in their history as a group. The jealously feels real and makes you anxious. Their love and support for one another is also real, which makes failure that much more difficult to view.
An underrated aspect of this movie is just how well shot it is. Joe Anderson does a wonderful job of being able to capture an onstage presence without it feeling like it’s a taped special. The scenes where The Commune drive to Philly are filled with gorgeous landscape shots of an autumnal highway.
There is a moment when Miles (Birbiglia) is talking to the woman he is dating about moving away with her to raise her child. She doesn’t think he is ready, and he isn’t. He wants to be wanted so badly and he isn’t getting the attention he craves. Weekend Live doesn’t want him (he was inches away), and now his own girlfriend doesn’t want him. He acknowledges that he has a lot of growing up to do as a 36 year old man, but he isn’t ready to drop his dream of a comedian. It is a very emotional scene and Birbiglia brings it. There is a death in this movie, but nothing is sadder than that scene.
This is a movie I have seen numerous times and it is the perfect comfort movie for me. It has some of my favorite people in comedy (Gethard, Birbiglia, Adam Pally, Pete Holmes and Connor Ratliff) and makes me dream for a life of comedy. After I saw this for the first time, I had the lucky opportunity to trade some tweets with Mike Birbiglia. I told him how this movie made me want to drop everything I had and do stand up comedy. Work on my writing and really try to attain something. His response was simple. “Why? This movie isn’t about success. It should scare you from this industry.” It hasn’t yet.
Don’t Think Twice: 9.6/10