Let’s imagine, for a second, that you watched Casino Royale and fell in love with the Aston Martin. You dreamt of owning it. You started an Aston Martin Fund. You collected pictures of it. You learned everything you could about it. Then one day your best friend shows up at your house in an Aston Martin. “Isn’t it cool?”, he says. “My dad bought it for me.”
Could you be happy for him?
Life doles out its shares of disappointments, but this is a particularly trying brand. It can appear in so many insidious forms: Your friend gets into the college you dreamed of attending. Your sister inherits the piece of jewelry you’d always loved. Your girlfriend gets asked out by the boy you thought was really cute. We congratulate them, rally around them, support them. But a part of us hates them too. How much can you love someone who steals your dream? Mike Birbiglia’s latest movie, Don’t Think Twice, explores this idea and so much more.
The movie is written and directed by Mike Birbiglia, and it’s produced in conjunction with Ira Glass. At this point I should probably disclose my long and unending love affair with This American Life. Mike Birbiglia and Ira Glass have collaborated on the program before (several times!), so I knew I’d probably enjoy the movie. But Don’t Think Twice managed to surpass my already-high expectations. What appears to be a movie about improv comedy also turns out to be a heartfelt tale of adult friendships. It’s a coming-of-age movie, if you view growing out of your adolescent dreams as achieving true adulthood. It’s heartbreaking, as most good movies are. Just like This American Life, it’ll make you laugh and it’ll make you cry.
We caught Don’t Think Twice at the Sunshine Cinema, which is a wonderful arthouse theater that has been a neighborhood staple for fifteen years. Many independent films open here and bring with it the opportunity to interact with some of the actors and directors, but Sunshine Cinema is also well-known for its Sunshine at Midnight film series featuring fun classics. We were fortunate to be among the viewers treated to a Q&A after the show with Mike Birbiglia, Ira Glass, Tami Sagher (who’s in the movie) and Judd Apatow. You could tell from the conversations that this was a passion project for all involved. Fantasy and reality somehow merged in the making of this movie, which made the emotional rollercoaster seem that much taller and faster. I’m not going to tell you much else, except that it turns out Judd Apatow lived this movie by way of Adam Sandler. Go and watch it. You’ll thank me later.
Note: We’re happy to report that Don’t Think Twice will also be playing at the Film Society at Lincoln Center, a venue that we featured here.
143 E Houston St
Pair it with:
Brunch at Sweet Chick
Sweet Chick opened in Williamsburg in 2013 and was such a success that it opened its Manhattan outpost on the Lower East Side a year and a half later. The restaurant is known for its Chicken and Waffles which we saw come out of the kitchen over and over, multiple plates often balancing precariously on the servers’ arms. But Sweet Chick offers what they call “American cuisine with a Southern accent”, and there are many other wonderful options on the menu that bring that statement to life.
The Shrimp and Grits was divine, and the Black Bean Cake and Scramble was flavorful and unique. Perhaps most important for an institution claiming any kind of Southern affiliation, the biscuit was amazing. We should also note that you can get their Chicken and Waffles with vegetarian chicken: it’s always nice when food establishments accommodate the diverse population it serves. Located just minutes away on Ludlow, it’s a great pre-movie meal: follow with a small popcorn and/or a Divine chocolate bar from Sunshine Cinema’s concession stand.
178 Ludlow St
Monday – Friday: 11am – 2am (last seating at 1:30am)
Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 2am (last seating at 1:30am)