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The Comedy (2012)

 -  Drama  -  21 January 2012 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 2,628 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 25 user | 45 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

Indifferent to the notion of inheriting his father's estate, a restless, aging New Yorker passes time with his friends in games of mock sincerity and irreverence.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Swanson
...
Van Arman
Jeffrey Jensen ...
Cargill
...
Ben
Gregg Turkington ...
Bobby
...
Waitress
...
Young woman
Liza Kate ...
Sister-in-Law
...
Brent
Seth Koen ...
Male nurse
Will Sheff ...
Will
Richard Swift ...
Richard
Angus Hepburn ...
Weathy man
Grace Kiley ...
Weathy woman
...
Hospital Nurse
Edit

Storyline

Indifferent to the notion of inheriting his father's estate, a restless, aging New Yorker passes time with his friends in games of mock sincerity and irreverence.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 January 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Komedia  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,000 (USA) (9 November 2012)

Gross:

$6,000 (USA) (9 November 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The script was a treatment by Rick Alverson and his co-writers, with the cast improvising in their scenes. See more »

Quotes

Waitress: Do you have those clean glasses?
Swanson: [doesn't answer, looks her up and down]
Waitress: ...I'm sorry, are you deaf?
Swanson: [covering his nose] Oh, God, your fucking breath, it smells like this dirty, this, oh-I can't tell if it's the trash here, or your breath.
Waitress: There was something I was meaning to ask you, have you tried using the dish soap to clean out your asshole?
Swanson: Yeah, I use it all the time.
Waitress: Because you stink.
Swanson: [gesturing to the sink] I actually, this is where I shower, I shower, I put my head in here...
Waitress: Oh really, ...
[...]
See more »

Soundtracks

Disintegration Loops (1.1 Excerpt II)
Written by William Basinski
Performed by William Basinski
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User Reviews

 
Funny, tragic and painful, watch The Comedy with caution!
5 December 2012 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

An uncomfortable mix of anti-PC bullying, laconic social critique and Cassavettes-style realism, Rick Alverson's The Comedy is a challenging movie. An experience of endurance, rather than entertainment, it's basically Jackass with a brain. A real puzzle. I wasn't sure whether I should walk out or give it a standing ovation. Either way, it's a painful ninety minutes.

One half of the creative team behind Adult Swim's flatulent sketch show, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Heidecker's brutal depiction of Swanson encapsulates, and furthermore parodies, the exact audience from which he has become a cult demigod – the trust-funded, apathetic hipster. Instead of the garish surrealism of said TV series, The Comedy is rooted in documentary-like naturalism.

Aimlessly wandering around his stomping ground of Williamsburg, New York, Swanson spends his days trying to find substance for life – picking up jobs as a dishwasher even though he's loaded, travelling across town via his cosy houseboat, heading into ghettoised bars so that he can rile up/bond with the local "brothers", and chatting to drunk women about how feudalism is great and Hitler misunderstood. Far from just testing the patience and credulity of the characters on screen, Alverson is reaching out to the audience watching The Comedy. Whether the embittered sentiment of the film is ironic, genuine or otherwise is dependent on your own tolerance level and engagement with this truly unsympathetic, crass character.

Uncritically speaking, I found Heidecker's performance mesmerising, but the character unrelenting nasty. In partiocular, there's a bedroom scene late on in the movie which left me feeling abused and nauseous. A powerful reaction to cinema, but certainly not a welcome one!

If you feel compelled to sit through this venomous, albeit fraught comedy, it would make for perfect double bill with the LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits. Not only do both movies feature the humble DFA Records boss James Murphy, they both wryly depict the ennui and societal disconnect of an ageing American subculture.

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