Don’t Think Twice
This sophomore feature from writer-director Mike Birbiglia finds the actor-comedian on familiar ground, playing the unheralded leader of an improv comedy troupe. Birbiglia’s overgrown adolescent Miles has a long history of watching his students pass him by, and lives in the shadow of an SNL-style sketch show called Weekend Live. His entire troupe of whiny and marginally talented 30-somethings (a group that includes Keegan Michael-Key and Gillian Jacobs) yearns for success, but when one of their ranks gets plucked out and groomed for stardom, the remaining members are forced to take stock of their lives. All of the details involving the world of improv comedy—the backstage rituals, the live-wire performances, the mixture of onstage trust and backstage jealousy—all seem very authentic and even semi-autobiographical, and yet the machinations of the script couldn’t feel more contrived. It’s just affable enough to survive a disastrous last 10 minutes.