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Yes, and... A Review on Don't Think Twice (2016)

Don't Think Twice is the best kind of comedy. It blends emotion with humor so seamlessly that one moment you're laughing at some nonsensical joke and the next you're suppressing tears. (Of course, what appears nonsensical is strategic.) Many of us familiar with Saturday Night Live may know that quite a few successful comedians (Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Mike Myers, and Tina Fey for example) had their beginnings in The Groundlings or The Second City. They have gone on to enjoy decades-lasting successful careers both inside and outside the comedy genre. Mike Birbiglia's second film (four years after Sleepwalk With Me) examines this trajectory with bruised egos, anxiety, fear of failure (fear of success), and laugh after laugh.

We follow all of the members of improv group, The Commune, as they struggle to manage current responsibilities, their dreams, their self-doubt, their camaraderie: Miles (Birbiglia) who is a somewhat bitter leader because year after year he remains in the same place, Allison (Micucci) who is a talented yet unconfident graphic artist, Lindsay (Sagher) who has a desire to succeed though it's pointed out that as a trust-fund baby she doesn't need to work for anything, and Bill (Gethard) who is concerned his father views him as a failure and is the biggest downer of the bunch. We focus the most, however, on Jack (Key) and Samantha (Jacobs) and their relationship. This makes sense consider their relationship mirrors the relationship between Jack and the group itself. Samantha is The Commune to a large extent.

They both dream of becoming a cast member on "Weekend Live" (or...by another name, SNL) and they pursue it when invited to audition. Jack's natural performer-bred response is to take over the show. He doesn't do this to hurt the others, he's more of a mindset of "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" and to Jack's credit, once offered a job he does try to include the group even when it could be to his detriment. It's being offered the gig at Weekend Live where the distance begins to grow exponentially between the couple, and between the group members. Sam could have made Weekend Live, had she not chickened out of the audition and she can't explain it in a way that Jack understands. Which means they grow apart.

Sagher, Jacobs, Key, Birbiglia, Gethard, and Micucci

Sagher, Jacobs, Key, Birbiglia, Gethard, and Micucci

At the end of the film I felt bittersweet. I was both happy and sad for all of the characters and the developments they made throughout the course of Don't Think Twice. Take a lesson from improv and if someone asks you to watch this film respond, "Yes, and".