Review: “Don’t Think Twice” Is An Honest Take On An Artist’s Life

 
Direction
8.0


 
Acting
8.0


 
Plot
8.0


 
Execution
8.0


 
Total Score
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Posted November 28, 2016 by

 
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Mike Birbiglia’s “Don’t Think Twice” focuses on a New York City improv group who all have dreams of taking that next step in their career, even if that means leaving friends and relationships behind. The group itself, led by Miles (Mike Birbiglia), has constantly been a starting point for comedians that have gone on to make it onto shows like “Weekend Live” (a not so subtle spoof of Saturday Night Live) and with one of their own, Jack (Keegan Michael-Key), being the latest member to make the jump, the rest of the group is left wondering when they will get their big break and if Jack will possibly take them with him. In the art world it’s all in who you know so when one of your friends makes it big that has to mean you’re just one small step behind. Unfortunately that’s not always the case and the group has to come to terms that while some will make it to the bigger stage, others are destined to remain where they are.

This is one of the most authentic takes on an artist’s life I have ever seen. The years of working on your craft, the sacrifices you make to try to reach your goals, the constant battle of deciding to carry on or give up and “be an adult”. Whether it’s acting, music, drawing, writing, painting, any kind of art, the chances of making it are very slim so people always look at you like you’re wasting your time and keeping yourself from facing the reality of growing up and getting a real job. For those that really love what they’re doing though, they know that it’s not about giving up, or coming to your senses, the art is something you have to do, and if money and fame eventually come with that…great. The character I love the most in this movie is Samantha (Gillian Jacobs). She is in a relationship with Jack and was asked to try out for Weekend Live at the same time; ultimately skipping the interview process. It’s not that she’s afraid to try and fail, it’s that she’s happiest where she already is and she doesn’t need others’ view of success dictating her own. While Birbiglia does a great job at showing us the different ways everyone is dealing with the situation, Samantha’s journey was the most interesting and honest to me.

At no point does “Don’t Think Twice” get preachy or lose itself in trying to deliver a specific message. It just lays out what’s happening and tells an honest story through the eyes of five characters. You have every person you could possibly root for: the lifelong improv actor that keeps missing his chance, the writer that comes from wealth yet tries to play it off like they’re dealing with the struggle of being an artist, the writing duo that don’t have any confidence in their skills that are present, the artist who’s happy where they are, and the one that only cares about making it big. It’s not always fun and games and “Don’t Think Twice” shows you the other side of things.

No matter what kind of an artist you are, or whether or not you’ve “made it”, “Don’t Think Twice” is a movie you should all watch. I love Mike Birbiglia’s comedy and one-man-shows, but at the risk of sounding selfish I hope he keeps delivering powerful and enjoyable stories like this one.

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DavidRyanM

 


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