Don't Think Twice (2016)
Critic Consensus: Don't Think Twice offers a bittersweet look at the comedian's life that's as genuinely moving as it is laugh-out-loud funny -- and a brilliant calling card for writer-director Mike Birbiglia.
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Critic Reviews for Don't Think Twice
The film is nicely structured, gently witty, and it boasts an excellent cast
It has more laughs than any big-studio comedy I've seen this year, but it's dead serious about the difficulty of creating something collectively in a world where everyone's chasing the spotlight.
The most biting comedy of the summer has nothing to do with talking pets.
A surprising, bitingly honest drama entwining strands of blood, sweat and jokes.
Audience Reviews for Don't Think Twice
When it comes to films revolving around the film or television business, most of them choose to focus on one aspect alone, leaving out some of the behind-the-scenes aspects that many studios probably don't want you to know. In the case of Don't Think Twice, it doesn't follow the ways of say La La Land or Super 8. Those examples may not be the greatest, but this is a film that isn't afraid to explicitly show that, no matter how much passion you have for acting, making it big just isn't meant for everyone. Don't Think Twice is a big slap in the face for dreamers who hope to become actors/actresses one day, but in the best way possible. Funny, charming, and eye-opening, this is why I believe Don't Think Twice is worth your time. Following a group of imrov performers as they hold shows on a weekly basis in order to get recognition by a television show called Weekend Live, which is pretty much this film's version of Saturday Night Live, the film quickly becomes a reminder that fame can't be for everyone. As one of the members of their group (Jack, played by Keegan-Michael Key) is chosen as the newest cast member of Weekend Live, his friend whom he acts with every week soon become jealous. The fact that he can't do anything for them from the inside also begins a feud between them, making this more dramatic than anything. Filled with some very clever humour and some great improv scenes, this film is all about selling great characters, which leads me up to my biggest issue. In no way did any of these characters bother me, in fact I quite enjoyed ever time any of them were on-screen together. That being said, when certain characters are featured on their own for an extended period of time, it seems to slightly forget about some of the other players, almost as if they were not as important to the story, which kind of goes against the core story in the first place. Ensembles have always been difficult to grasp. Whether you have a successful balance in films like #TheAvengers or #OceansEleven, there will always be a film like #SuicideSquad that is much more unbalanced. This is the prime example of a film with great characters that aren't explored enough. Having said that, the ones who are make this film really enjoyable. This is a film about people who are great at improv, so as long as there are some satisfying moments that showcase some great improv and there are some great jokes sprinkled throughout the film, I knew I was going to enjoy it, and enjoy it I did. This really is a very solid film and any time it was focussing on the characters of Jack and Samantha, I was very curious to see where they were going to end up, due to the fact that different career paths may be separating them. This is a very, very good film with many solid performances and some terrific messages about show business. In the end, would I recommend this film to a mass audience? Yes I would. It's more for an audience that enjoys a dramatic turn in an otherwise comedic film, but fans of television shows like Saturday Night Live or Friends will probably have a great time watching Don't Think Twice. The irony is that it makes you think twice about your career path, especially if you are into show business. Well-written, well-directed, and well-performed, there really isn't much to dislike about this film, but I wish it had been ten to twenty minutes longer, leaving a bit more room for character development, which is a big problem for me when I watch films. Overall, I had a blast watching this film and I definitely recommend checking it out. It went under the radar after its festival runs, so this may be one of those cult classic comedies.
There are really great subtle moments of performance and observation, also the movie features an appropriate balance of joyous and uncomfortable sequences that effectively show Improve for the beautiful, chaotic art form that it is. All this being said, the movie feels lacking in some ways. Certain relationships don't feel well defined (especially Birbiglia's subplot with an old high school crush which feels forced) and the overall plot could have used a bit more cohesion.
To begin with, this isn't a bad movie. Everything that needs to be done in terms of executing a film with this premise is sufficiently done. The story concerns Keegan Michael-Key leaving his close-knit improv troupe to join an analog Saturday Night Live show. The group has interpersonal problems from that point on. Unfortunately, I'm hard-pressed to leave out the phrase "white people problems" in this review. Spineless, petty, apprehensive, envious and desperate white people bicker then joke and repeat ad nauseum. They see their best friend for years become successful and immediately hound him for writing gigs and auditions - then come to harbor antipathy for him when he becomes the meme of the week. They then start to choke on stage and resent him (and gradually each other) for their own shortcomings as comics, writers, and basic human beings. I'm no aficionado of improv comedy, but I found the improv performances (however simulated or off-the-cuff they may be) to be somewhat clever, but mostly lackluster, eliciting a few chuckles throughout the film, primarily in the darkest jokes. Mostly, everything is awkward, painful, and depressing, and to admit a kinship to these characters would be to admit that we as an audience are more pathetic than they are, and I refuse to fall for that bait. I've got my own problems, but I don't need to have my face shoved in shit to know that nobody is perfect and life ain't fair. Mediocrity is not a pathway to catharsis.
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