“Don’t Think Twice” is a new comedy that goes beyond your typical funny movie. The film mixes humor with drama to show how a group of improv comedians face the reality that not everyone makes it in the business.
Written and directed by Mike Birbiglia, “Don’t Think Twice” follows the lives of six improv comedians. The group of best friends, called The Commune, perform at a small improv theatre in New York City. When they find out that their theatre is shutting down, they are forced to look for work elsewhere. Soon after, Commune member Jack Mercer (Keegan-Michael Key) lands a big break with a TV show, causing a rift in the group. The Commune is forced to face some tough facts about friendship, failure and growing up.
The cast of “Don’t Think Twice” is simply brilliant. Keegan-Michael Key, mostly known for his work on “Mad TV” and “Key and Peele,” shows another dramatic side of himself that is very different from his other work, proving he is capable of dramatic roles. Gillian Jacobs, star in the hit television show “Community,” is the shining star of this movie. She also shows a hilariously new and vibrant part of her acting abilities that are a joy to watch. This all-star cast worked brilliantly together to deliver a touching and hilarious movie.
The movie includes multiple types of humor. There are moments of dark humor and moments with light jokes. Most of the scenes about the group’s performances were witty and outrageous.
The film also offers viewers a first-hand look at the lives of comedians, specifically improv performers. The movie shows how these comedians live off a very little money, even working menial jobs on top of being comedians, but it also shows how much fun they have performing. “Don’t Think Twice” also offers a glimpse into how much work and preparation goes into this rare form of comedy.
Through all of the hilarity and drama, there were also moments where the humor fell flat. Some parts of the movie tried so hard to be funny, but just didn’t succeed. Fortunately, there were only a couple of these moments, and they were mostly lost under the many other funny scenes.
“Don’t Think Twice” is a comedy unlike any other. It’s not just funny. It is a dramatic and bittersweet story that also teaches a lesson. At some point, dreams either come true or they don’t. That is a lesson everyone has to learn, and this movie drives this point home eloquently.
“Don’t Think Twice” will be screening at The Lyric Cinema Café now through Sept. 1.