Last Saturday Actors In Action Class had its first field trip—we saw the movie DON’T THINK TWICE showing at The Broadway Cinema (SLC art house/indie film venue).
RUN, Don’t Walk
To see this fantastic film! (It got a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes!) Ultimately DON’T THINK TWICE dialogues about art vs. commerce. Centered on an NYC improv group called “The Commune” made up of six best friends who after years of working together have mastered their art, an art which demands strict cohesiveness and group thought, the story tells of their unraveling.
The part of the film most interesting to me played between the relationship of Miles and his girlfriend Sam. Miles, with his tendency to “showboat” (a taboo in improv which involves stepping out of the group to steal the focus), gets an offer to audition for a SLN like show when a Commune performance is scouted by the TV network. Miles thinks this a dream come true, especially when Sam—lovely and hilarious—also gets a shot at the show.
The Plot Thickens
But when Sam ditches the audition in what seems a fit of insecurity and Miles books the TV gig, a rift starts not only between the couple but with the entire troupe. Miles is catapulted into his dream job which shortly turns out to be more like a jungle of cut-throat comics and executives. He struggles to hold his own, to do what he can to get his left-behind friends connected, and to ultimately get the talented Sam to join him.
Sam however shows that insecurity didn’t keep her from the catapult of fame but her deep love for the integrity of her art. Improv equals collaboration, not showcasing one’s self as she sees constantly on Miles’ show. She turns instead to teaching and clinging to the ideals of such greats as Viola Spolin—the godmother of Second City and a 1960’s American theatre innovator.
Brave or Foolish? Your Call
Sam shows a bravery some would count as foolishness. Who doesn’t want fame? Who doesn’t want financial security? But I dare you to not resonate with the riveting journey of this artist as she doggedly sticks to her truth.
DON’T THINK TWICE a film by Mike Birbiglia, starring Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher and Birbiglia.
Catch it at The Broadway Cinema