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The Comedy 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars (79) IMDb 6.5/10

From Tribeca Film. Tim Heidecker (Tim & Eric Awesome Show) stars as an aging hipster testing the limits of acceptable behavior with his like-minded friends (Eric Wareheim, LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy) in this provocative character study.

Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim
1 hour, 34 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Rick Alverson
Starring Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim
Supporting actors Jeffrey Jensen, James Murphy, Gregg Turkington, Kate Lyn Sheil, Alexia Rasmussen, Liza Kate, Adam Scarimbolo, Seth Koen, Will Sheff, Richard Swift, Angus Hepburn, Grace Kiley, Grace Rex, Alice Maziuman, Gregory M. Brown, Liam O'Connor, Kaitlyn Vitti, David Olsen
Studio Tribeca Film
MPAA rating TV-MA
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video
You probably aren't reading this unless you already know a fair amount about this film and also know that its impossible-to-Google title is an "ironic" misnomer. If I may quote Sundance program guy Trevor Groth on The Comedy: "It's a provocation, a critique of a culture based at its core around irony and sarcasm and about ultimately how hollow that is."

Unfortunately, I find I cannot agree at all with Mr. Groth's summary. Casting Tim Heidecker as the lead in a movie with that intended message would be like someone in the late 1960s making a propaganda film on how electric guitar is a regressive scourge upon Western music, then using nothing but extensive concert footage of Jimi Hendrix to "make" their point.

No, if The Comedy has any central message-- and I am not sure that it does-- it's a more general existential message, not just a cautionary tale for unfeeling 4chan addicts and other self-made high-functioning sociopaths of our time.

I'm not a trust fund baby like Heidecker's character in The Comedy. But the older I get here in the oh-so-privileged West, the more I think and the more I learn and the more I live, the harder it becomes to ignore the emptiness and futility of modern life and existence itself, and to continue functioning... heck, even *pretending* to function in the context of such meaninglessness.

The central characters in The Comedy have reached the same conclusion, but have the further luxuries of endless spare time and being able to buy their way out of any semi-reasonable situation that their antics might potentially cause. They live to entertain themselves and, having given up on any purpose to higher intellectual pursuits, have regressed almost entirely to the behavioral level of twelve-year-old boys.
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By Jeremy on October 24, 2012
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
The first reviewer (Rob) has written intelligently about The Comedy already, and I'd like to direct those interested toward his comments.

I do take issue, though, with some of his phrasing. I'd like to modify his "aimless" to "seemingly aimless" and his "pointless" to "quite pointed." The Comedy is actually satisfyingly symmetrical. Four key scenes illustrate this symmetry: the nurse/father scene at the beginning and the nurse/stranger in hospital scene at the end, plus the ride back from the boat with the party/Hitler girl at the beginning versus the ride back from the boat with Kate Lyn Sheil's waitress toward the end. I don't know that this structural balance shows an evolution in the character as much as it shows an evolution in the audience's understanding of the character. I love this technique and I love this movie.

Tim Heidecker knocks it loose as Swanson, and for all the hubbub about his "squirm-inducing" (or whatever) behavior, it's his silences and his subtle facial tics that really deliver the character. There's guilt and longing galore in this movie, and it's all in Heidecker's expressions and silences. To refer again to Rob's solid comment/review, I'm not so sure this movie is for the cynical and jaded. It's for those on the brink of cynicism--it's perhaps a buoy for them to gauge how far gone they are. No one thought Jonathan Swift really wanted to eat babies, and I'm not so sure anyone should think Swanson wants to guzzle beer all day and harass cab drivers.

I love this movie for its relevance--for its exploration of 21st Century ennui, and for ultimately offering scenes of hopefulness. Anyone who's ever felt detached (on purpose or otherwise) should give this one a try.
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Format: DVD
Looking for the feel good comedy of the year? A rollicking good time? Despite its title, "The Comedy" probably won't fit that bill. This is a movie that will certainly divide its audience. Is it a brilliant character study of the disaffected? Or is it simply a hateful and punishing experience that will leave you wondering what you just watched? To my estimation, it is both of these things simultaneously. And for this, you will either love or hate "The Comedy." Whichever side you fall on, though, I can't imagine you'll be indifferent to it! As a provocation, Rick Alverson's screenplay certainly succeeds. Much of the dialogue is pushed to the extremes of offensiveness. It's so calculated, in fact, that it becomes somewhat indulgent and unrelenting. The film is counterbalanced in some quieter moments, but there is no redemption at the end of this rainbow. If you need a big plot or noticeable character growth, "The Comedy" provides neither. It just shows a subculture of post collegiate ennui that has extended into adulthood.

Tim Heideker plays the lead, an irresponsible man/child facing the death of his father. His life consists of getting drunk, behaving boorishly, and hanging out with friends with similarly uninspired goals. Heideker, whether in action or in discourse, is poised to mock and offend just about everyone he encounters. His diatribes can be funny in the most politically incorrect way possible, but he uses them as a defense mechanism against normal intimacy. I didn't laugh out loud, but I was amused by the ferocity and the apparent insecurities that unleashed it. There is no doubt that Heideker is disturbed, some may say pathetic, but that's what makes "The Comedy" so distinctive. It has a definite point of view and, as a character study, it works.
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