on Tue, Aug 23, 2016 at 12:43 PM
An improv group called the Commune faces an uncertain future when their theater is closing and members of their team are faced with life changing events. Writer-director-actor Mike Birbiglia plays Miles, an improvisational actor in his mid-thirties who feels passed over, while Jack (Keegan-Michael Key) finds himself in line for a role on The Weekend (the film’s less copyright infringed stand-in for Saturday Night Live). Gillian Jacobs (who is having a nice year with this and her role in the excellent Netflix series, Love) plays Jack’s girlfriend Samantha, who also has a chance to advance her career. They, and other members of the troupe, must decide between real money-paying gigs and doing what they actually love, that being getting up on stage and making stuff up for free.
I personally, can’t stand watching comedy improv, so that perhaps knocks the film down a peg for me, because there’s a lot of bad improv in this movie. Balancing things out for the better would be the performances from all involved, especially Key and Jacobs, who should do more projects together. Birbiglia does a nice job of portraying that artistic need to do one’s art in the face of all adversity.