Don't Think Twice

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Don't Think Twice
Don't Think Twice (film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mike Birbiglia
Produced by
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Amanda Marshall
  • Mike Birbiglia
  • Ira Glass
Written by Mike Birbiglia
Starring
Music by Roger Neill
Cinematography Joe Anderson
Edited by Geoffrey Richman
Production
company
Distributed by The Film Arcade
Release date
  • March 13, 2016 (2016-03-13) (SXSW)
  • July 22, 2016 (2016-07-22) (United States)
Running time
92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $3 million[1]
Box office $4.4 million[2]

Don't Think Twice is a 2016 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Mike Birbiglia and stars Birbiglia, Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher and Chris Gethard. The film had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 13, 2016[3] and was released on July 22, 2016, by The Film Arcade.[4]

Plot[edit]

The Commune is an improv troupe in New York headed by Miles (Birbiglia). Other members include Jack, a talented improviser with a tendency to grandstand; Sam, his insecure girlfriend who acts as the group's emcee; Allison, who has been working on a graphic novel for years; Lindsay, who lives off of her wealthy parents; and Bill, who loves improv but feels increasingly unsuccessful. One night, the group learns that staff from Weekend Live, a Saturday Night Live–style show, are attending a performance. Miles is excited for another chance to audition for the show, having auditioned and not been selected years ago.

Following the performance, Jack receives a phone call informing him that he and Sam are being invited to audition. Jack attends the audition, but Sam loses her nerve at the last minute and does not. Jack is selected as a new cast member, and his friends begin asking about the possibility of joining the writing staff, or having Jack arrange auditions for them. Meanwhile, Bill's father is in a serious car accident and the group travels to Philadelphia to visit him in the hospital.

Jack finds success at Weekend Live playing an old-timey ticket taker in a sketch, but finds the pressure of the show difficult to manage. The Commune sees an uptick in its audience, but they are mostly there to see Jack and his ticket taker character rather than the rest of the performers. With their theater space closing, the group decides to hold a show at a new space, but the ticket price discourages audiences from attending and they fail to recoup their investment.

The group gathers to watch Weekend Live and discovers Jack performing a sketch they had improvised at a prior Commune show. Infuriated, the group crashes the after party. Miles confronts Jack and punches him before being thrown out. When he then confronts Lindsay for failing to support him, she reveals that she has been hired by the show and did not want to embarrass herself in front of her new co workers. Embittered by this revelation, Miles, Allison, and Bill storm off.

At the final Commune show, Sam stands on stage alone and asks her usual opening question "Has anyone had a particularly bad day?" When an audience member suggests that Sam herself looks like she's had a bad day, she agrees and launches into a solo improv where she is trapped at the bottom of a well while her other cast mates cannot decide how to help her. Jack arrives and joins the improv, promising that he will not abandon her. But Sam tells him that she is happy in the well and she knows and accepts that their relationship is over.

Eight months later, Jack continues to enjoy success on Weekend Live. Miles is in a long term relationship with an old flame from high school, and Sam, Bill, and Allison are starting a new improv group and looking for local talent. Despite their conflict, the group has remained friends.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Principal photography on the film began in late-August 2015 in New York City, Mike Birbiglia directing the film based on his own script.[5] Birbiglia would also produce the film along with Cold Iron Pictures' Miranda Bailey and Amanda Marshall, and This American Life's Ira Glass,[6] while Cold Iron and The Film Arcade would finance the film.[5] It was also announced Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher, Chris Gethard, and Birbiglia would star in the film.[5] It was later revealed Lena Dunham and Ben Stiller would make appearances as themselves.[7]

Release[edit]

The film had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 13, 2016.[8] It went on to screen at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 16, 2016.[9] In April 2016, it was revealed that The Film Arcade who financed the film, would distribute the film in a platform release in Summer 2016.[10] The film was released on July 22, 2016.[4]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film had a one-theater opening in New York City on July 22, 2016 and grossed $92,835 in its opening weekend, the highest per-screen gross of 2016 beating the record set the previous week by Café Society ($71,858).[11] Its record was then surpassed in October by Moonlight ($100,519).[12]

Critical response[edit]

Don't Think Twice received critical acclaim. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 99% based on 111 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Don't Think Twice offers a bittersweet look at the comedian's life that's as genuinely moving as it is laugh-out-loud funny -- and a brilliant calling card for writer-director Mike Birbiglia."[13] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 83 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Don't Think Twice (2016)". The Wrap. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Don't Think Twice". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 6, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Don't Think Twice". South by Southwest. Retrieved April 18, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Curst, Kevin; Lewis, Dave (April 24, 2016). "Ryan Gosling, Meryl Streep and 'Swiss Army Man' lead the counterprogramming charge at the movies this summer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 24, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Fleming Jr, Mike (August 25, 2015). "‘Don’t Think Twice’ Starts Production In New York". deadline.com. Retrieved August 26, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Don't Think Twice | 2016 Tribeca Film Festival". Tribeca. Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  7. ^ Harvey, Dennis (March 13, 2016). "SXSW Film Review: ‘Don’t Think Twice’". Variety. Retrieved April 18, 2016. 
  8. ^ McNary, Dave (February 2, 2016). "SXSW Unveils Lineup With James Caan, Ethan Hawke, Keegan-Michael Key Movies". Variety. 
  9. ^ "Don't Think Twice". Tribeca Film Festival. Retrieved April 18, 2016. 
  10. ^ Seetoodah, Ramin (April 18, 2016). "Mike Birbiglia’s ‘Don’t Think Twice’ Gets Summer Release From Film Arcade (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved April 18, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Dramedy ‘Don’t Think Twice’ Bests ‘Cafe Society’ for Limited Opening Record". The Wrap. 
  12. ^ Brian Brooks (November 13, 2016). "Ang Lee’s ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ 2016’s 3rd Best Average; Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Elle’ Bows Strong – Specialty Box Office". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 14, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Don't Think Twice (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Don't Think Twice reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 

External links[edit]