The Comedy (2012)

This is one of those uneventful but screamingly meaningful little indies that manage to communicate an extraordinary amount of social criticism via tight shots, deliberate situations and a brutal condemnation of ironic flippance. Tim Heideker plays one of those obnoxious, self-consciously antagonizing rich jerks comedy narratives are littered with, only this time there’s a condemnation not only of him, but primarily of the casual social dismissal of transgressional privilege that renders it socially acceptable in the first place. Heideker is extremely convincing in the role, confronting his character’s indefatigable need to childishly agitate with bravado while also showing subtle glimpses of the emotional turmoil and purposelessness motivating it in the first place. It’s a micro-narrative not unlike Lena Dunham’s “Tiny Furniture” or Noah Baumbach’s “Greenberg” that seems to revel in its protagonist’s central unlikability for its own sake but slowly unfurls its layers as it goes along, and while it’s definitely not for everyone’s taste, those who appreciate caustic cringe theater will love it.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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