In retrospect, it seems crazy that nobody thought of it before writer/director Mike Birbiglia (Sleepwalk With Me) did: What better milieu than improvisation to look at adults fumbling with the way life hasn’t seemed to give them a script to work from? Birbiglia also co-stars as Miles, the de facto leader of a New York improv comedy troupe called The Commune—also including Jack (Keegan-Michael Key), Sam (Gillian Jacobs), Lindsay (Tami Sagher), Bill (Chris Gethard) and Allison (Kate Micucci)—as they face a crossroads when their home theater is sold. Birbiglia perfectly captures the world of insecure performers creating a surrogate family, and what happens to their mutually supportive dynamic when envy and ambition get in the way. But while the individual characters aren’t all given enough room to register as strongly as the focus on Miles, Jack and Sam, the story is strongest in its profile of people reaching pivotal moments when they have to admit which of their dreams might never come true. Even when it feels somewhat thin, it’s a poignant reminder of how much we’re all just making it up as we go.
Director: Mike Birbiglia
Producer: Ira Glass, Miranda Bailey, Amanda Marshall, Andy Bohn and Jason Beck
Cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia, Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher, Chris Gethard, Richard Masur, Sondra James, Richard Kline, Maggie Kemper and Erin Darke