Good comedy is the result of long-simmering pain. A comedian struggles on stage, bombing in front of impatient audiences, for years before learning how to be funny. A hilarious actor waits tables while desperately hoping to get cast in that first defining role. And even after so much suffering and so much hard work, the vast majority of talented people still slip through the cracks, watching as others, sometimes friends, stumble into big breaks.
This is the world of Mike Birbiglia‘s Don’t Think Twice, a thoughtful comedy tinged with both melancholy and hope. Set within the New York City improv comedy scene, Birbiglia’s sophomore effort as a director captures the joy of creation and the agony of creative stagnation – anyone who has ever struggled to make something will laugh and cry and find a great deal of the film hitting very close to home.
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If you’re a fan of stand-up comedy, I hope that you’ve discovered the work of Mike Birbiglia. If not, Netflix Instant currently has two of his comedy specials, What I Should Have Said Was Nothing: Tales from My Secret Public Journal and My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, and I recommend watching them immediately.
In addition, Birbiglia also made his directorial debut with his auto-biographical indie comedy Sleepwalk with Me, which played at the Sundance Film Festival back in 2012. Like Birbiglia’s comedy, it’s definitely worth watching. And now Birbiglia has just started production on his sophomore directing effort, a movie set in the world of improv called Don’t Think Twice. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 by Angie Han
If you’ve seen even a little bit of her Comedy Central series, you already know that Amy Schumer one of the funniest actresses on the small screen. Now she’s poised to take over the big screen as well, as the writer and star of Judd Apatow‘s Trainwreck.
Schumer plays a woman who’s utterly allergic to commitment. Actually, “commitment” seems like too strong a word — based on the Trainwreck trailer, she doesn’t even like getting to the second date if she can help it. Enter a handsome doctor played by Bill Hader, who threatens to upend her life.
The supporting cast is equally stellar, with Vanessa Bayer and Lebron James(!) as Schumer and Hader’s supportive pals, Tilda Swinton as Schumer’s boss, and much much more. Watch the first Trainwreck trailer after the jump.
Update: A Trainwreck red-band trailer has also hit, with more raunchy jokes. Plus, a new poster and new stills — see it all below. Read More »
Judd Apatow‘s next film, Trainwreck, has just filled out its cast. Apatow will direct a script written by and starring Amy Schumer. Now almost a dozen new actors have joined a cast which already included Bill Hader, Brie Larson and Colin Quinn. They are recent Oscar nominee Barkhad Abdi, comedian and director Mike Birbiglia, Girls neighbor Jon Glaser, SNL MVP Vanessa Bayer, WWE superstar John Cena, Perks of Being A Wallflower star Ezra Miller and last, but definitely not least, Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton. The film is scheduled for release July 24, 2015. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 by Angie Han
Last year, screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber brought us The Spectacular Now, a smart, tender YA adaptation about first love. This year, they’re mining similar territory with The Fault in Our Stars, based on John Green‘s bestselling novel. They even have Shailene Woodley starring once again.
This time, she plays Hazel Grace Lancaster, who falls for fellow cancer patient Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) after meeting him in a support group for sick teens. Josh Boone directs, with Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, and Mike Birbiglia in supporting roles. Watch the first trailer after the jump.
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If you haven’t seen Mike Birbiglia‘s film Sleepwalk With Me, it’s a good experience that is now available to stream on Netflix in the US. The movie, which follows the writer/actor/director’s formative experiences as a stand-up comedian, premiered last year at Sundance, and turned into a tidy little, er, sleeper hit. Doesn’t hurt that it was produced by Ira Glass, whose NPR show This American Life has no small influence.
Birbiglia is now talking about his next film project. It will adapt his current stand-up solo show, which was seen on stage under the title My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend. Read More »
Okay, I know it’s fake. I know Joss Whedon, Mike Birbiglia and Ira Glass are all friends, but I don’t care. This fabricated Internet war between The Avengers and Sleepwalk With Me is really clever and fun. It started earlier this week when Whedon, director of the third largest film of all time The Avengers, called for a boycott to the delightful, Sundance audience award winner directed by Birbiglia and co-written by Birbiglia and Glass (This American Life). Whedon’s quarrel was that The Avengers was in danger of losing screens to Sleepwalk and, therefore, fans should boycott the movie. But not before he gave it several flattering compliments.
Now Birbiglia and Glass has responded with their plan on how Sleepwalk With Me is going to outgross The Avengers. Not only is it funny, it’s one of those eye-opening realizations just how successful a movie can be. Check it out below. Read More »
To date, Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers has only grossed $617.3 million in the United States and Box Office Mojo reports it’s barely playing on 200 screens. That’s unacceptable, says the writer/director, who released a video damming the upcoming film Sleepwalk With Me from stealing some of those precious, and much needed screens.
The comedy, written and directed by Mike Birbiglia, won an audience award at Sundance earlier this year and begins to hit theaters later this month. Originally the film was only opening in a handful of cities, but fans have been demanding it on Twitter with the hashtag #bringsleepwalk and have so far doubled the amount of screens that will be showing the film. Whedon, whose little Marvel movie is still $40 million from being the number two film of all time, is obviously threatened and has chosen to speak out against the film.
It’s hilarious. Check it out below. Read More »
One of my favorite movies of the year so far is coming to theaters next month. The trailer came online late last week but got buried thanks to a little event called Comic-Con.
Now I’m happy to finally share the first trailer to Mike Birbiglia‘s Sleepwalk With Me, an autobiographical romantic comedy about a man’s struggle to become a stand-up comedian. Only thing is, he has a dangerous penchant to sleepwalk. Comedian Birbiglia co-wrote, stars in and directs the film which also features Lauren Ambrose, Carol Kane, James Rebhorn, Marc Maron and others. Sleepwalk With Me won the Audience Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and hits theaters beginning August 24.
Check out the trailer, as well as my Sundance video blog review, after the jump. Read More »