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Reviewed by Ashley Moreno, March 16, 2012, Screens

The Comedy

Festival Favorites
D: Rick Alverson; with Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, James Murphy, Kate Lyn Sheil, Alexia Rasmussen

Considering Tim Heidecker's other work (the Tim and Eric franchise) and that director Rick Alverson gave any audience members at the South by Southwest premiere on Saturday the chance to walk out before the film started, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the opening sequence of The Comedy includes a group of naked men drinking heavily and showering each other in beer. And it only gets weirder as the racially insensitive, probably sexist, but certainly privileged principal character, Swanson (Heidecker), whom I hesitate to call a protagonist, tries desperately to find meaning and connect with others in a string of terrible ways. Unforgivingly direct, The Comedy opens abruptly into an amazingly rude and empty world that slowly starts to hit eerily close to home. The filmmakers bravely don't mind alienating their primary viewership, as it holds up a mirror to privileged white America. Still, there are a few fun tête-à-têtes and plenty of witty banter to buoy the film.

Saturday, March 17, 12:15pm, Stateside

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