The Comedy

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Total Count: 34


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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 limits of acceptable behavior, pushing the envelope in every way he can. Heidecker's deadpan delivery cleverly masks a deep desire for connection and sense in the modern world. The Comedy wears its name on its sleeve, but director Rick Alverson's powerful and provocative character study touches a darkness behind the humor that resonates with viewers long after the story ends.


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Critic Reviews for The Comedy

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (18)

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

    Dec 6, 2012 | Rating: 1/4
  • None of this is necessarily funny. That's the extent of the irony here.

    Dec 6, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The joke, I guess, is that there's nothing funny about "The Comedy."

    Nov 29, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A mean-spirited piece of mumblecore that tries to provoke you, but only succeeds in boring you.

    Nov 22, 2012 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…
  • A character study that tries to make the revolting compelling.

    Nov 16, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Nov 15, 2012 | Rating: 1/5

Audience Reviews for The Comedy

  • Sep 08, 2015
    This mumblecore piece of avant-garde comedic drama is certainly not for everyone's taste but I found strangely compelling to observe (yes, that's the word) the life of this revolting character who is composed by Heidecker (always fantastic) mostly through improvisation.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 11, 2013
    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 V Super Reviewer
  • Mar 04, 2013
    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 W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 16, 2013
    Waiting for his father to die so he can receive his fortune, a privileged Brooklyn man drifts through life, getting his kicks from playing immature pranks on strangers. Living on a houseboat, Heidecker is the privileged son of a wealthy father, now on his death bed. Due to this, he has neither the need nor the incentive to work for a living. To fill time, he spends his days and nights hanging out with his immature friends, often making others feel uncomfortable in social situations by behaving like imbeciles. Fueled by a disdain for the lower classes, Heidecker pushes people to their limits of tolerance, all for his puerile entertainment. Though he doesn't need the money, he takes a job as a dish-washer, seemingly for the purpose of mocking his fellow workers. Undoubtedly the worst thing to happen to American popular culture over the last decade is the "man-child" phenomenon. It began with the reprehensible TV show 'Jackass' and quickly bled into cinema with the likes of Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler making a more than comfortable living off audiences inexplicable interest in obnoxious behavior. Why anyone would enjoy watching middle-aged privileged white guys behaving like morons is beyond me but a large section of the public eats this stuff up. 'The Comedy' details just how abhorrent this mentality really is by focusing on a character who seems to have stepped out of a Sandler movie and onto the streets of New York. You won't have seen many characters as despicable as Heidecker but, equally, you won't be able to take your eyes off him, a walking car crash of a man. We've all had the misfortune of encountering characters like this: the loudest guy at the party; the guy who sits beside you on the bus, insisting on talking to you just to mess with your day; that asshole holding up the line at the grocery store by arguing over some trivial matter with the cashier. They're usually middle-class white males whose only way to feel important is to use their untouchable privileged positions to ruin someone else's day. Here, Heidecker pulls horrid stunts like offering a taxi driver a sum of money too large to resist, all so he can drive the cab while drunk. Within a few seconds, the driver realizes he's made a huge mistake by allowing himself to be taken advantage of. It's a scene you could imagine might have audiences laughing their asses off if it appeared in a sequel to 'The Hangover', but here it plays as an uncomfortable scene of guerilla class warfare. 'The Comedy' plays like a riff on 'Falling Down' but, rather than baseball bats and bazookas, self-entitlement and solipsism are the weapons of choice for its loathsome protagonist.
    The Movie W Super Reviewer

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