The Comedy

The Comedy Image
Metascore
46

Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: On the cusp of inheriting his father's estate, Swanson is a man with unlimited options. An aging hipster in Brooklyn, he spends his days in aimless recreation with like-minded friends in games of comic irreverence and mock sincerity. As Swanson grows restless of the safety a sheltered lifeOn the cusp of inheriting his father's estate, Swanson is a man with unlimited options. An aging hipster in Brooklyn, he spends his days in aimless recreation with like-minded friends in games of comic irreverence and mock sincerity. As Swanson grows restless of the safety a sheltered life offers him, he tests the limits of acceptable behavior, pushing the envelope in every way he can. Heidecker’s deadpan delivery cleverly masks a deep desire for connection and sense in the modern world. (Tribeca Film) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 15
  2. Negative: 4 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Christopher Bell
    Nov 8, 2012
    91
    It's a meaty film, filled with ideas unobscured by any generic narrative string, a move that shows not only the confidence of the director but his respect of the audience. This is one that'll have people talking.
  2. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Nov 7, 2012
    91
    There's genuine pain at the core of Heidecker's character - or at least a numbness where the pain used to reside - but the film is keen on obscuring it.
  3. Reviewed by: Joseph Jon Lanthier
    Nov 4, 2012
    88
    Tim Heidecker's Swanson does not amuse us in spite of the pity he inspires but because of it.
  4. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Nov 7, 2012
    50
    There's not a false note in the film, but maybe there's a difference between accuracy and truth.
  5. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Nov 7, 2012
    50
    The anomie of entitlement pushed to poisonous extremes is the basis of this provocation, which is as frustrating as it is intriguing.
  6. Reviewed by: Leah Churner
    Nov 28, 2012
    40
    The film retreads much of the anti-comedic territory already bulldozed in Heidecker and Wareheim's own "Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie," retaining the scatological flavor but none of the surrealism.
  7. Reviewed by: David Lewis
    Nov 23, 2012
    0
    The Comedy, one of the most self-indulgent, pretentious and unfunny movies of the year, is a mean-spirited piece of mumblecore that tries to provoke you, but only succeeds in boring you.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    The Comedy, alongside The Master, was far and away the best film of last year. The low critic reviews are a little suprising, but not so muchThe Comedy, alongside The Master, was far and away the best film of last year. The low critic reviews are a little suprising, but not so much when we consider Kaufman's tragically low rating of 67 for Synechdoche New York. Sometimes they get it wrong. Firstly, Heidecker's turn as the lead in a serious film was criminally passed over. Naturalistic, realistic acting appears to be becoming a thing of the past in mainstream film, so his portrayal in this is refreshing. The movie is not a comedy, but it is very funny in parts, thanks mainly to Tim's cruel deadpan and his chemistry with Eric Wareheim. It's a character study, and one that finally targets the apathy and emotional distance of aging 30 year olds who aren't willing or able to let go of their youth or play the 'game.' Looking forward to seeing another film from the director, who has the potential of being a darker harsher Noah Baumbach. Collapse
  2. Jan 6, 2016
    9
    This movie is hard to watch at times but by God, is it brilliant. What makes it so are the tiny glimpses of humanity in between Swanson'sThis movie is hard to watch at times but by God, is it brilliant. What makes it so are the tiny glimpses of humanity in between Swanson's total disregard, apathy, and childish recklessness. The style of directing and acting complement one another so well and atmosphere and tone are just perfectly set. Anyone who has lived in either NYC or Los Angeles probably knows someone like Tim Heidecker's character, or at least one of his friends. I wanted so badly for whatever is good in this man to come bursting forth, even though you know it isn't going to happen because there isn't an ounce of authenticity in him... or is there? This character is a total enigma. I had no idea Heidecker was capable of this kind of nuanced performance. What a misunderstood treasure this film is. Expand
  3. Sep 27, 2013
    9
    This movie is mind-bendingly brilliant. It has such a personality I felt like I was somehow in this "story." A man who seems to resent lifeThis movie is mind-bendingly brilliant. It has such a personality I felt like I was somehow in this "story." A man who seems to resent life getting into random situations while waiting for his father to die. No real plot to follow. This movie has stuck with me ever since I watched it, and has to be one of the best films of recent years. Tim Heidecker showed me he isn't about all about stupidity/stoner comedy and fills this role perfectly. Expand
  4. Dec 23, 2014
    9
    I really like this movie. It is a strange one, but it is not every day when something like this comes down the pike. The comedy is a movieI really like this movie. It is a strange one, but it is not every day when something like this comes down the pike. The comedy is a movie might make you a little annoyed at times, but after it, you realize it is a good kind of annoyance. Expand
  5. Jan 4, 2015
    9
    A week before watching The Comedy I watched Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation, a film in which the character Charlie Kaufman struggles to write aA week before watching The Comedy I watched Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation, a film in which the character Charlie Kaufman struggles to write a screenplay about an eccentric and fairly unlikeable man. No plot, no character development, no overcoming obstacles, and a main character the audience is likely to hate. Who would watch such a film? Would it even be considered a "proper" film, he wonders. "No! What a terrible idea for a movie!" everyone tells him and so, ultimately, Adaptation turns into your standard Hollywood movie, complete with car chases, gun fights, and people being eaten by alligators.

    It got me wondering "Could such a film be made? Has anyone made a film like that?" Turns out, they did and it's called the Comedy. If anything, it's a brave film for daring to go against all the Screenwriting 101 conventions, all the rules everyone insists writers stick to. It's a subtle film, a dark film, and the kind of movie you need to watch in its entirety and then, when it's over, sit there and wonder "what the hell did I just watch?" And then a day or two later you find yourself thinking about it again. *That*, for me, is an indication that I've watched a pretty brilliant film.
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  6. Apr 5, 2013
    3
    I can't understand people saying it's the second best film of last year. It's a quite boring tale about an old hipster in Brooklyn. OftenI can't understand people saying it's the second best film of last year. It's a quite boring tale about an old hipster in Brooklyn. Often having abusive monologues to strangers, who in some strange way just numbly stare at him. Then he meets his friends and they do some ordinary thing like playing baseball, of course with a cool song playing as a soundtrack.

    All in all pretty boring.
    Expand

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