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The Comedy

Movie Details

The Comedy
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama
  • Release Date: 2012-11-09 LA 2012-11-16 NY
  • Running Time: 90 min.
  • Director: Rick Alverson
  • Cast: Grace Rex, Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Alexia Rasmussen, Adam Scarimbolo, Rock Kohli, Kate Lyn Sheil, Joe Mele, Kevin Townley, James Murphy
  • Producer: Jagjaguwar Films
  • Writer: Rick Alverson
  • Distributor: Tribeca Film
  • Official Site: The Comedy Official Site

A highly improvised fictional exposé in search of the elusive heart and soul of hipster nihilism, The Comedy stars alt-comic superstar Tim Heidecker as Swanson, a trust fund 35-year-old hanging out in Williamsburg, fucking around, and waiting for his sickly dad to die. The title is ironic, or maybe "ironic"-- the film, writer-director Rick Alverson's third feature, is basically a shock drama. Its sensibility is a hybrid of the awkward conceptualism associated with Heidecker and co-star Eric Wareheim (TV’s Tim and Eric) and the brand of another of the film's players, James Murphy, figurehead of blue chip hipster auto-critics LCD Soundsystem. Alverson's film takes the form of a kind of glacially paced, shaky-cam art project that the Brooklyn dude-bros it depicts might bike over the bridge to catch, if for no other reason than to tell chicks they've seen it. Heidecker makes a much more convincing 21st-century Arthur than Russell Brand. Chubby, bearded, beer-soaked, bedecked in novelty sunglasses and shorts, Swanson lives on a boat--because he's floating, get it?-- and runs with a crew of dudes who approach life as a starting point for real-world improv comedy. Cab drivers are repeatedly fucked with. Swanson defends Hitler mid-flirtation, and the girl still goes home with him. The gang takes an ironic field trip to a church followed by dive bar whiskeys. There's not a false note in the film, but I wonder if decades from now, The Comedy might function as a sincere snapshot-- its intended satire might be too dry, too implied, to survive the passage of time.

Karina Longworth

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