As a long time fan of the twisted world that is Tim & Eric, the live action narrative form of The Comedy was a hopeful shot at extracting some realism from Tim Heidecker‘s usual antics. So I was hopeful, excited, eager, etc, to see what the film had in store. And being the most walked-out-of film at Sundance made the experience all the more enticing.
It got a little too real.
The crowd was loving the raunch, the giggle-worthy hilarity of hipsters being hip, of funny guys being funny. But that sort of disposable humor didn’t provide the film with its backbone. The story relied on those laughs to balance the awfulness that was Heidecker’s Swanson.
Swanson provided a black hole for all emotion. He showed indifference in the presence of his dying father. He struggled to connect with women, opting to shock and disgust, still managing to woo them.
In any number of scenes, I begged for Swanson to receive a swift kick in the jaw. I wanted him to endure the hurt and disconnect he so relished doling out to anyone outside his tiny circle of hip pals. But he never did.
And it hurt.
I like seeing a character develop, grow, become something better. But that wasn’t the case. The Comedy ended and I felt emptier than Swanson himself. It’s nice to see a film that wraps itself up in pretty package with a heartfelt story and a lovely ending. It’s unrealistic to expect this from every film. But when a character is this disappointingly heartbreaking, you beg for a glimmer of hope. There was no light shed on Swanson.
I’d watch the film again, if only to search for that glimmer.