Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rick Alverson|
|Produced by||Mike S. Ryan
|Written by||Rick Alverson
Kate Lyn Sheil
|Edited by||Rick Alverson
|Distributed by||Tribeca Film (USA)Bread Harrity Children's Productions|
The Comedy is a 2012 drama film directed and co-written by Rick Alverson, and starring Tim Heidecker. Supporting actors include Eric Wareheim (Tim and Eric), James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem), and Gregg Turkington (better known as Neil Hamburger). The film was premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival  and screened within such festivals as Maryland Film Festival 2012. The film was distributed by Tribeca Film and was slated for theatrical release on November 9, 2012 and nationwide On Demand starting October 24, 2012.
Despite the title and use of comedians as actors, Sundance festival chief programmer Trevor Groth says that the film is not a comedy, but instead "a provocation, a critique of a culture based at its core around irony and sarcasm and about ultimately how hollow that is."
The first ten minutes of the film was purposely leaked onto various torrent websites with an anti-piracy statement at the end of the video. The resulting publicity made the actual film the most pirated independent film of the year.
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Indifferent even to the prospects of inheriting his father’s estate, Swanson (Heidecker) whittles away his days with a group of aging Williamsburg hipsters, engaging in acts of recreational cruelty and pacified boredom. Desensitized and disenchanted, he strays into a series of reckless situations that may offer the promise of redemption or the threat of retribution.
The film received mixed reviews from critics. It received an aggregate rating of 47% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 30 reviews, and 46% on Metacritic (indicating "mixed or average reviews"). For example, David Lewis of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that the film was "one of the most self-indulgent, pretentious and unfunny movies of the year", while Scott Tobias of The A.V. Club gave the film an "A−" rating, writing that "few films have better articulated the limits of irony as a force field against the world". At the 2012 Philadelphia Film Festival, Heidecker was awarded the festival's "Best Actor" prize.
The film had a limited theatrical release, grossing $41,113 in four theaters over eight weeks.
- "2012 Sundance Film Festival Announces Films in Competition". Sundance Institute.
- "Tim Heidecker Takes the Lead in Full Trailer for Indie 'The Comedy'".
- "Sundance Film Festival 2012 lineup". CNN.
- "The Comedy Accepted and In Competition at Sundance Film Festival".