The Comedy (2012)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

On the cusp of inheriting his father's estate, Swanson (Tim Heidecker, "Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!") is a man with unlimited options. An aging hipster in Brooklyn, he spends his days in aimless recreation with like-minded friends ("Tim & Eric" co-star Eric Wareheim, LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy and comedian Gregg Turkington a.k.a."Neil Hamburger") in games of comic irreverence and mock sincerity. As Swanson grows restless of the safety a sheltered life offers him, he tests the … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama
Directed By: ,
Written By: R. Alverson, Rick Alverson, Colm O'Leary, Robert Donne
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 26, 2013
Tribeca Film - Official Site


as Van Arman

as Waitress

as Young Woman

as Sister in Law

as Restaurant Manager

as Hospital Nurse
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Critic Reviews for The Comedy

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (16)

The longest and dreariest 94 minutes I've spent on a movie this year.

Full Review… | December 6, 2012
Seattle Times
Top Critic

None of this is necessarily funny. That's the extent of the irony here.

Full Review… | December 6, 2012
Boston Globe
Top Critic

The joke, I guess, is that there's nothing funny about "The Comedy."

Full Review… | November 29, 2012
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

A mean-spirited piece of mumblecore that tries to provoke you, but only succeeds in boring you.

Full Review… | November 22, 2012
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

A character study that tries to make the revolting compelling.

Full Review… | November 16, 2012
New York Post
Top Critic

If you can discern any critical distance or interesting perspective here, or even a good reason to spend 90 minutes in such company, I'm afraid the joke is on you.

Full Review… | November 15, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Comedy

After watching The Comedy, I'm sort of perplexed at the idea that I liked the movie. To be honest, I couldn't give you a real reason why either. As a character study, it works to a degree, but it is sort of aimless. As far as plot, none. The whole production is done in the quietest and most depressing manner possible. I'd even go as far as to classify it as a dull movie. Yet, I still liked it. 

A 35 year old hipster, who is on the verge of inheriting his dying father's estate spends his days on his boat or galavanting through downtown acting like he works at places he doesn't. His nights are mostly spent with his equally depressing and boring hipster friends who share in weird conversations with each other and drink. That's the basis of the story to the film, and most of the time a lot less than that is going on. 

The Comedy is offbeat and weird to be sure, but that is a big reason why I like it, I think. I love movies that desire to be something completely different and don't care how it's going to play to a large audience. This is completely different and it will never appeal to a large crowd, but there is an audience for it. 

By the way, The Comedy isn't really a comedy. You'd be hard pressed to throw this into any genre other than the broad Independent film genre. As far as a recommendation goes for this film; I would never give anyone the idea that they would certainly enjoy it. Odds are most won't be able to sit through it and those that do will wonder why they did. For those out there like me though that have a taste for these type of movies, it's worth a look.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

While I may regret saying this at some future point in my life, I saw a lot of myself in Swanson, the protagonist of this film who, day by day, is trudging through a malaise. Not so much the naked debauchery, but definitely the desire to withdraw oneself from feeling.

Many people see this film as a critique of hipster culture. Exposing the popular fallacy of believing that it is better to be above it all. To make a life of understanding the way the game is played, but just choosing not to play. There is definitely some of that peppered in this film, but what I really latched on to was the character study; one of a man who is obviously capable of empathy and understanding, but seldom exercises either mental process.

At first it appears he feels nothing. Sitting beside the bed, concerned little with the cancer that is languidly eating away bit by bit at the man who he calls father, he probes the doctor about prolapsed anuses. Watching his sister-in-law frantically pace before his eyes, he assumes the role of a southern plantation owner, cracking wise about the good crop of slaves he now has in his possession. Yet, aided by a surprisingly subtle but strong performance by absurdist comedian Tim Heidecker, one can see that he isn't incapable of feeling. He simply prefers disaffection. After all, the world can some easily overwhelm you with emotion, so I understand the desire to want to control the sentiment of the room by creating one yourself.

There are a lot of parallels to the television show Louie. It has the capacity to make you laugh at the absurdity of it all one second, while leaving you speechless with grief the next. It is a recipe that doesn't sit well with many. But for those who were looking for this particular dish, even if as a whole it isn't perfect, the ingredients are a pleasure to take in.

Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

Didn't know I would like this movie as much as I did. It shows something you don't usually see in movies. The main character pushes as many boundaries as he can. Despite the title, it's not a comedy. Though, I did laugh a couple times. It's a dark movie with a true meaning. Overall- It's a love it or hate it movie, and I loved it.

Chris Miele

Super Reviewer

The Comedy Quotes

– Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Matt H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by John F (2 years ago)

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