The Comedian (2013)
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Ed is a stand up comedian in his early thirties, he is handsome, charming, witty and lost. Trying to make it on the London comedy circuit, he spends his nights performing in small rooms above pubs and his days making ends meet at a call centre. He lives with Elisa, a beautiful French singer, the two like brother and sister, inseparable, loving and asexual. Ed funny and playful, Elisa soulful and sensitive. One day, on a night bus home, Ed meets Nathan, a young black artist, blunt, honest and free. They immediately connect and begin a passionate affair. Suddenly the intimate bond between Ed and Elisa is threatened and Ed is faced with a choice between his attraction to a man and his love for a woman. Set in the immediate and random background of today's London. thisf ilm is a fresh, dramatic and funny story about choices and how not to make them. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Comedian
There's not enough of a story to sustain The Comedian through its frequent lulls, but its lush cinematic style suggests Shkolnik is one to watch.
The film has the whiff of reality, but lacks the imaginative shaping that gives form, meaning and a sort of transcendence to the work of John Cassavetes and Mike Leigh.
There's some interesting material in this dark British drama, but it's so relentlessly grim that we are never able to connect with anyone on-screen. It doesn't help that all of the characters are pretty unlikeable.
The world is reaching out to gay romance right now. But it takes a lot of reaching to like Tom Shkolnik's The Comedian, or even to understand what it is saying.
Shkolnik knows what it is to be shrugging along in the city with not enough money in your pocket, and no idea what to do with yourself.
Just when you think you've got the measure of it, it'll drift off down another mumbly alley of blind uncertainty about what its protagonist thinks he's doing in life.
The meandering life of a London stand-up comic makes for a meandering movie experience.
This improvised drama comedy is charming, poignant and watchable thanks to some exceptionally talented actors, but certain scenes feel a little bloated and contrived.
For all its honesty, the film feels frustratingly incomplete, a great character in search of a story.
Moments of inertia aside, Shkolnik's scriptless film makes a bold attempt to capture the staccato rhythms of life.
[L]ends a fresh depth of honesty and intimacy - sometimes sexual, always emotional - to a story that feels familiar on the surface but has rarely been plumbed with such insight or candor.
It is an understated message for a diffident, aimless generation - and an impressive first film from a director happy to daze rather than amaze.
The Comedian is a fatally underwritten curio that doesn't give its competent actors enough to work with.
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