VODetails: 'The Comedy'

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by Matt Singer
October 25, 2012 9:51 AM
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"The Comedy."
More and more films premiere on Video on Demand -- if they don't simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we're looking at "The Comedy," a divisive and disturbing look at a poorly behaved Brooklynite -- not a comedy (I know, I know, the title. Just look past it).

Director: Rick Alverson

Cast: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, James Murphy

Current Criticwire AverageB (out of 15 critics)

Official Synopsis: "On the cusp of inheriting his father's estate, Swanson (Tim Heidecker, 'Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!') is a man with unlimited options. An aging hipster in Brooklyn, he spends his days in aimless recreation with like-minded friends ('Tim & Eric' co-star Eric Wareheim, LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy and comedian Gregg Turkington a.k.a. 'Neil Hamburger') in games of comic irreverence and mock sincerity. As Swanson grows restless of the safety a sheltered life offers him, he tests the limits of acceptable behavior, pushing the envelope in every way he can. Heidecker’s deadpan delivery cleverly masks a deep desire for connection and sense in the modern world. 'The Comedy' wears its name on its sleeve, but director Rick Alverson's powerful and provocative character study touches a darkness behind the humor that resonates with viewers long after the story ends."

Trailer:

Reviews:

Matt Patches, Hollywood.com:

"An ambitious, purposefully off-putting film, a dissection of where we find comedy and how we react to it."

David Ehrlich, Box Office Magazine:

"An essential portrait of a generation of people laughing so hard that they've forgotten the joke is on them."

Christopher Bell, The Playlist:

"This is one that'll have people talking."

Sean P. Means, Salt Lake Tribune:

"Heidecker's performance is oddly heroic, as he holds nothing back in depicting his character as an unrecalcitrant jerk."

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter:

"Alverson is onto something culturally significant about the terminal disconnect bred by vapid self-indulgence, and there’s certainly rigor in his methods. But you can only make an audience squirm for so long without a payoff."

"The Comedy" is now available on VOD, Amazon, and iTunes. It opens in Los Angeles on November 9th.

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