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Film / Don't Think Twice

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Don't Think Twice is a 2016 comedy-drama film written and directed by stand-up comedian Mike Birbiglia and Ira Glass of This American Life, the same team behind the film Sleepwalk With Me. It stars Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard, and Tami Sagher.

The film follows an improv comedy troupe through their ups and downs as one of their members finds success elsewhere.

Don't Think Twice provides examples of:

  • Always Second Best: Miles resents the fact that his former students are succeeding in comedy where he continues to fail.
  • Bad Boss: Timothy, who runs Weekend Live, goes back and forth on this. He has a reputation for firing people at the drop of a hat if they displease him. However, when we actually meet him, he is harsh but not uncaring. He knows enough about his employees to be aware of Jack's interest in cycling, and gives him an artsy bicycle left on the show by Björk.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Jack and Sam's relationship doesn't make it through the movie, although they're still friends.
  • Expy: "Weekend Live" is clearly Saturday Night Live, its aloof and ruthless boss is clearly supposed to be a version of Lorne Michaels. The central improv group is partly based on the Upright Citizens Brigade (except in real life most of the original UCB had fairly enviable comedy careers, not just one of them).
  • Freudian Slip: Ironically, this moment comes after Miles has already started to recover from his narcissistic tendencies (see It's All About Me below).
    Liz: I like you.
    Miles: I like me too.
  • Glory Days: Miles constantly talks about his audition for Weekend Live ten years previously, when he has not done much of anything in the intervening time.
  • Happily Adopted: Implied. Although it's not established whether Miles and Liz are married by the end of the movie, Miles makes it clear that he wants to be the father figure to Liz's son, and doesn't care that it's not his child.
  • Hot for Student: It's implied that the student Miles brings home from one of his improv classes is not the first that he has picked up this way (see Insult Backfire below). It's a sign of his growing maturity when he starts a relationship with someone his own age.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Miles constantly belittles Weekend Live, at one point asking "was it ever good?", but also constantly brags about his audition for it ten years previously, and is still working on submitting to it as a writer.
  • Insult Backfire:
    Miles: Fuck you, Lindsay.
    Lindsay: You wouldn't, 'cause I'm not 22 and I'm not your student.
  • Improv: The movie focuses on a group of improv comedians.
  • Ironic Name: The Commune. It starts out relatively indicative name for a group of share-and-share-alike True Companions, but becomes more ironic as the events of the movie split them apart.
  • It's All About Me: Miles. He constantly talks about his Glory Days and sees everything that happens around him (including his friends' success) only in terms of how it effects and reflects on him. Also results in the Freudian Slip entry above.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Averted. They know for a fact that the baby isn't Miles', which doesn't seem to bother him at all, although this doesn't stop the others from joking with him about it.
    Bill: He has your eyes.
    Miles (smiling): Not my biological child!
  • The Resenter: Miles, first to Jack, then later to Lindsay.
  • True Companions: The Commune starts this way (as evidenced by their name, and the way the members talk about the group), but the plot of the movie tests their limits by pushing them apart.
  • Shown Their Work: Name-dropping Del Close, Paul Sills, and Viola Spolin won't mean anything to most people, but their names will be very familiar to improvisers.
  • Show Within a Show: Weekend Live, a Saturday Night Live Expy.
  • Stylistic Suck: The episode of Weekend Live that the Commune watches together, up to and including the weird '80s throwback band that is the episode's musical guest.
    • Two sketches of Jack's that we never see are titled "Scooby-Doo Gets Put Down" and "Kim-Jong Un on The Bachelorette". He asserts (apparently correctly) that these sketches will not make it to the final show.