Mike Birbiglia’s ‘Don’t Think Twice’

Mike Birbiglia presents ‘Don’t Think Twice’ as a strong comparison in spontaneity, debating between quick-wit comedy and the harsh reality surrounding it.

Mike Birbiglia delivers his best by revealing his worst in this perfect indie dramedy.

Mike Birbiglia
Photo courtesy of Steven Zang.

The only thing more difficult than living in the moment is thinking in it. And, oddly enough, that’s the driving passion of a specific niche of performers. Don’t Think Twice is a love letter to those very performers, penned by the lovable and oddly-captivating Mike Birbiglia.

The comedian-gone-filmmaker has taken the dog-eat-dog world of improv-comedy and presented it for its rollercoaster appeal. Whether it’s the spontaneous, light-hearted banter on-stage or the spontaneous success stories of a chosen few, the whole art-form is as demanding and unreliable as life itself. And that’s how Birbiglia connects us to the big picture, the connection between the starving artist and the ignorant spectator.

Don’t Think Twice follows the underground comedy troupe “The Commune,” struggling to keep their $5 shows worth the audience’s appeal and worth their theater’s doors staying open. However, when two of the six, Jack (Keegan-Michael Key) and Samantha (Gillian Jacobs), find themselves with sudden auditions for the likes of Weekend Live, the troupe suddenly gets stuck in a crossroad, wondering if they are truly too late to the bandwagon. With great supporting roles played by Chris Gethard, Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher and even Mike Birbiglia himself, the film works towards a satisfying realization in what it takes to not necessarily succeed, but to be happy in the process.

What this small-budget flick does so well is give multiple perspectives from multiple people with one central problem in mind: Where do we go from here? Birbiglia, having much experience in improvisation and stand-up alike, takes us on this 92-minute journey with ease, knowing the true ups-and-downs of the career choice being analyzed. He leads each character with their particular “flaw” in mind and pushes them each into a funnel of self-acceptance in a way that’s all too parallel with our own conscience battles. If anything, it’s safe to say that Birbiglia has written and directed an indie that’s bigger than a niche, maybe even bigger than ourselves.

Mike Birbiglia delivers satisfying summer fare with Don’t Think Twice,” said Aren Berkenbush, a Livingston resident and avid fan of independent film. “It was a refreshing film because of the somewhat-serious storyline that portrayed jealousy, confrontation, and other difficult aspects of a friendship. I was able to relate different traits in each character, which made the experience more enjoyable.”

That’s why I fell for Don’t Think Twice. I don’t necessarily know the realm of improv-comedy as much as someone who studies it in-depth, but I do understand the human condition. And, if anything, this dramedy proves that Birbiglia obviously knows his stuff, as well.

Don’t Think Twice is now playing in select theaters worldwide. And, lucky for us, the closest local venue is Bow Tie Clairidge Cinemas in the heart of downtown Montclair, right off of Bloomfield Ave. For a list of show-times and even more info on this acclaimed film, please visit fandango.com today.

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