In the follow-up to 2012’s acclaimed Sleekwalk With Me, writer/director/star Mike Birbiglia again focuses on what he knowns best, comedians.
Birbiglia’s sharp Don’t Think Twice follows a tight-knit New York improv troupe, forever on the cusp of something big but it never quite comes off. That is until for one of them, it finally does.
After scoring a role on ‘Weekend Live’ (essentially SNL), one of the group is suddenly propelled into stardom. No longer able to make their week shows, while he tries to take the whole gang along for the ride, it eventually causes them to doubt if they’re make it after all, and the troupe is at risk of closing up shop, for good.
The success of Don’t Think Twice would always be defined the characters’ on-screen charisma, and the relationships in the troupe are effortless and naturalistic.
You wouldn’t have guessed a couple of the gang hadn’t done improv before but they absolutely nail it. Mike Birbiglia, Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher and Chris Gethard are all fantastic, especially as tensions creep to the surface when six turns into five.
Though a few of the lines are improvised, even the bulk of the improv sequences were scripted by Birbiglia who writes with a real flow. The film still feels like things are off the cuff, constructed in a way that is true to the improv process. And behind the camera it’s a more mature effort too, as in-amongst the mayhem of the troupe, Birbiglia still allows each character arc room to breathe.
Don’t Think Twice c ould have been an indulgent and egotistical mess but instead it’s a thoughtful and honest look at success, reminding us all that sometimes, it’s OK to give up on your dreams.