Don’t Think TwiceLondon Film Festival 2016
Anyone who has lived in New York City will recognise the characters in the film Don’t Think Twice, written and directed by Mike Birbiglia. New York is a hub for hopefuls in the arts and theatre; the ups and downs, aspirations and frustrations of talented and ambitious dreamers are an essential element of the town’s vibe. Most Americans have grown up with the iconic Saturday Night Live, a show that has been a star-maker in the world of stand-up and improvisation.
It is every comedian’s wish come true to be on that show, and in Don’t Think Twice, members of an improv group that calls itself The Commune are all vying for a chance to be on “Weekend Live”, an obvious take on Saturday Night Live. Miles (Birbiglia), Samantha (Gillian Jacobs), Jack (Keegan-Michael Key), Allison (Kate Micucci), Lindsay (Tami Sagher) and Bill (Chris Gethard) perform improv every night, hoping to be discovered by “Weekend Live” talent scouts.
At first The Commune is tightly knit and mutually supportive, but as the piece unfolds and one of the group realises their dream of being in the cast of “Weekend Live”, ambition, disappointment, jealousy and bitterness undermine their solidarity. “Has anybody here had a particularly hard day?” is the question they ask the audience at the beginning of each performance of their sketches, improvising from the answers given – a question which echoes the troupe’s own issues. Despite their conflicts, however, they manage to make peace with their lives and the fact that most of them may never be famous.
Mike Birbiglia has created an affectionate and humorous portrayal of the New York City improv world. The actors are terrific – they are witty, spontaneous and convincing, and have great chemistry with one another. The writing is superb, full of insight and perceptive observations and the directing and acting are concise and seamless.
Don’t Think Twice does not have a UK release date yet.
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Watch the trailer for Don’t Think Twice here: