“Don’t think twice” (2016)
Running Time: 92 minutes
Directed by: Mike Birbiglia
Featuring: Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia
Bill: “I feel like your 20s are all about hope, and then your 30s are all about realizing how dumb it was to hope.”
Over the past twenty years or so many of the top US comedic talent has come from the improv circuit and the troupes that exist there – such as, the Groundlings and Second City – this is what is at the heart of “Don’t Think Twice” (2016). This film was a real treat to watch as I did not know that much about it before hand, it has some excellent and very talented comedy talent who should be all to familiar to anyone that has an interest in the comedy scene in the US.
“Don’t Think Twice” follows the members of ‘The Commune’, an improv group that plays to small audiences, little money, and even less recognition. The group’s members include founder Mike (Mike Birbiglia), Jack (Keegan-Michael Key), Samantha (Gillian Jacobs), Allison (Kate Micucci), Lindsay (Tami Sagher), and Bill (Chris Gethard); they all work crappy day jobs to feed the dream of performing comedy professionally, and maybe one day being cast on “Weekend Live,” a fictional version of “Saturday Night Live.” But when one of their own actually gets cast on the show, it sends the rest of the members into an existential spiral as they face the real possibility of never actually “making it.” Amidst feelings of jealousy and despair, the group struggles to move on from the thing they love the most. Check out some exclusive stills from the film below.
Following a dream is not easy and if you are part of a group of people trying to make a success of yourself it can be hard on those people around you, it can be doubly trying if a colleague and/or friend gets the big break that you want or have dreamed of for some time. The problem of course is that the next step or the idea of making ‘it’ is never the end and one taste of success leads to more, this can be an issue not only for the person who has some success, but also for the people you ‘leave behind’ – the question is what to do with that success help the people you leave or just move forward with new group.
As mentioned the film is an ensemble, but this is definitely Keegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs film, and interestingly out of all the actors/comedians they have had the greatest success on their own television shows that have been on the air for a number of years and are now almost starting again in the film world – trying to be successful again if you like. Although all the actors in this movie could be playing themselves in terms of their hopes of their own trajectory of success. Like their characters the main players have all written their own material at one point – something that you can see them all doing here – just being creative – whilst they are all attempting to follow their dreams they all have days jobs which is completely realistic.
Interestingly, “Don’t Think Twice” is director and star Mike Birbiglia’s second film following “Sleepwalk With Me,” an adaptation of his one-man show about his sleepwalking disorder. He’s been performing stand-up comedy for over ten years and he’s appeared in many films and TV shows, including “Orange Is the New Black,” “The Fault In Our Stars,” “Digging For Fire,” “Trainwreck,” and most recently, “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.”
I feel the film captures aspects of performing and it does this very well with all the success it offers as well as all the opportunities missed and careers nover realized. I started off not sure where it was going but by the end like the characters there is hope for the future and in a semi realistic film this is all you can ask for. Well done Mike and now I cannot wait for more…
“Don’t Think Twice” is released on DVD on the 14th June.
If you enjoyed this try:
“Key and Peele” (2012-2015)
Mike Birbiglia’s Secret Public Journal (2008)