“Don’t Think Twice” is written and directed by Mike Birbiglia, and also stars Birbiglia, along with Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, and Chris Gethard. The movie is about a New York City improv group who has some of their members getting the opportunity of a lifetime, but when that happens, reality starts to click in.
This movie intrigued me because of its unique premise and well-done trailer, but I didn’t really know what to expect coming in. Oh, and the 99% on Rotten Tomatoes did help peak my interest a bit and had my expectations high from the start.
Mike Birbiglia really does an exceptional job in this movie on all fronts. His direction and script go hand in hand, as both so accurately depict a real life struggle to pursue dreams. This movie feels oh so real from start to finish, with each member of this group being developed just enough so that we can easily relate to them. Birbiglia shows the difficulties of trying to progress in the world of comedy so well, and I found myself totally engrossed in the story for nearly the whole runtime.
Birbiglia, as well as the whole group, also has some real acting talent, but it’s more of the electric chemistry between the members of the group that I really enjoyed. Like I said, this feels like a true improv troupe, so it’s hard to pick a standout, I’ll just say that all of the members are great in their own right, and they all mix drama and comedy seamlessly to make a comical, while also heartfelt story.
If I were to pick two standouts, it would be Keegan Michael–Key and Gillian Jacobs. I really wanted to see if Key could go further than comedy in this film because I already knew he could do that, and he certainly did. Key does great work in this film in every aspect, as does Jacobs. These two as a couple in this movie work very well and lead to some of the most compelling moments in the entire movie, and I think these two both really brought it when they needed to.
When strictly talking about the comedy, this movie is pretty successful. The moments of legitimate improv are good, but what works most effectively is when the group is joking off the stage with each other, as it is just enjoyable to watch them all go back and forth, especially with how tremendous their chemistry is.
No spoilers, but there are moments that are clear in my head, where this movie hits some of the highest points any movie has hit this year. I found myself forgetting that I was watching a film for long chunks of the film. One specific scene, involving a live concert being watched from two different perspectives, was, in my opinion, cinematic beauty.
There aren’t many flaws to be had with this film, just a couple small things here and there. While Birbiglia really nails many themes about growing up, living out dreams, and the harsh realities of life, sometimes they’re almost too on the nose. Also, towards the end of the film, there’s a pretty major reveal thrown in about one of the characters, and the movie never seems to address it again before the film is over. Besides some slight pacing issues, “Don’t Think Twice” has very few problems and is an incredibly effective dramedy that I was very pleased with while watching.
“Don’t Think Twice” is an accurate and fresh look at some themes that are pretty common. Mike Birbiglia does phenomenal work at directing, writing, and acting in this film, as does the rest of this cast, and the blend of comedy with some real themes makes for a very compelling film through and through.
What did you think of Don’t Think Twice? Comment below with what you thought.