The Comedy: Film Review

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Maybe it’s the Greek in me, but I just can’t seem to get Zack Galifianakis out of my head lately. The whole time I was watching the intermittently excellent The Comedy I just kept thinking how it would have played if “that weird dude from The Hangover (as the guy sitting next to me kept calling him) was in the movie. To be sure (and to be fair to the many fans of the movie’s actual star Tim Heidecker), the movie seems to have been borne from the bizarro space of random mental synapses that make up the trademark brand of Galifianakis’s comedy. Could it be that the makers wanted to cash in on his now legendary supporting part in one of the decade’s funniest comedies?

Actually, The Comedy has been in the making for over seven years, so any attempt to view it through the lens of The Hangover is deeply misguided. It’s more Jackass and Borat than The Hangover, which is a good and bad thing since it doesn’t seem to be trying to be anything other than itself. And yet (and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way) it’s impossible to take the movie on its own terms. For a movie about a Brooklyn hipster named Swanson who’s in his 40s who simply wants one last anti-establishment hurrah before he inherits his father’s money and must therefore begin to lead a life of respectability, it spends a lot more time trying to tell us why Swanson should have the dreams that he does than showing us.

It’s mostly silly, occasionally hilarious, and has just the right amount of emotional devastation and existential introspection thrown in to make you sit up and notice that this is a special movie, if not a great one. It’s certainly hard to come by, but if you happen to live in a city where The Comedy is playing, give it a peek if you don’t feel like joining the hordes that will be lined up for Skyfall.