I have a shaky history with improv. It’s something I have always been able to do for a little while, but the better I get, the more I think. And the more I think, the worse I become at improv.
That quality has led to some of my highest highs and most debilitating lows, so I was a bit traumatized to start Don’t Think Twice. Not only that, but a lot of films have suffered by relying on the improvization of their leading actors, so I was worried I wouldn’t like it.
Boy, was I relieved. Don’t Think Twice is one of the best films this year, capable of building me up and tearing me apart at the same time, an absolute gem.
It centers on The Commune, a group of improv comedians that learn their theater is going to be shut down. They all want to be on Weekend Live (basically SNL), but only two of them get auditions. One of them (Keegan-Michael Key) gets the job, and the other (Gillian Jacobs) does not, and then the rest try to make sense of their changing lives. Improv is everything to them, so they can’t just give up. Jack (Key) really wants to help his friends out, but they all realize he might have to leave them behind.
I’m almost crying just thinking about it. I know these are actors and the story is fictional, but I just want it to work out so badly for them. As heartbreaking as this film can be, it’s also really heartwarming (and funny), and I just want to wrap it around me like a blanket.
Ultimately, this film is about a lot of things. It’s about success, of course, and what that can do to relationships. But it’s also about something else. Not all of us are going to succeed—likely a small fraction of us will—but we don’t all have the same dreams. Failure to one person might be success or contentment to someone else. People in love might not always stay together, even if they want to. Sometimes, you have to put yourself first, knowing that it’s not always a bad thing to do.
Please see this film. Please buy it, so you can watch it over and over again. It’s worth whatever you have to pay.
Don’t Think Twice is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital.