An original, silly, but also very personal movie that celebrates the spirit of community and sheds a rare light on the real growing pains of starting a life in the arts. Noam Tomaschoff's feature film directorial debut showcases his impressive ability to balance quirky slapstick with genuinely moving performances all while keeping up a fun steady pace. Richard Kind's performance as Mr. Mortensen is totally credible and human, and seeing him so a Modern Major General battle is incredible. It's always a treat to see Christopher Lloyd in any movie, and despite his short screen time, his presence in the movie looms large and rightfully commands respect. The chemistry between Stephen Friedrich and Tara Holt is strong, and the diverse Tankhouse ensemble each have great standout moments. The script by Noam Tomaschoff and Chelsea Frei, based a lot on their real lives, is easy to follow, funny, and full of surprisingly heartfelt twists and turns as well as very clever and specific references (Gilbert & Sullivan, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Henrik Ibsen, for example).Not many movies exist like this - and these days it's a bold move to put out something so niche, original, and intimate. If you love Theatre, you will love this movie, and if you don't love Theatre I think you will still find plenty to enjoy about how ruthlessly it satirizes it! I'm already looking forward to what all of the filmmakers will be coming out with next!
Growing up as a lover of all things Broadway, this movie had me feeling like a kid all over again. Thought it was hysterical, excited to watch this with my thespian friends and see if they notice anything about themselves... Highly recommend.
Noam Thomaschoff delivers a quirky comedy reminiscent of Taika Waititi and Wes Anderson. Noam, however, delivers a raw cast of characters and dialogues that establishes, though never exposes, the quirkiness and escapism of theater troops. It is both the stereotype and the reality of immersive theater, complete with shakespearean language and gestures.The main characters are banished from New York and move to Fargo, bringing along their trunks of costumes and theatrics. They land before an actual theater, a potential new home for a new ensemble by way of competition between two theater groups. The contrasts and interactions with the locals are portrayed with naturalness and empathy. They win over the local residents and the competition judges to call the renovated theater home, almost.In the deeply moving climax, the reality of life and changing relationships is exposed, ironically, in the style of immersive/improvisation theater for the final skit in the competition, shakespearean language and all. Noam delivers this moment with what can best be described as exaggerated subtlety, the dramatic gestures and speeches delivering a heartfelt cataclysmic moment in the young couples journey.As this is Noam's first feature film, there are creases to be ironed, scenes to be re-edited, and superfluous sequences to be deleted. But, then again, it is the rawness and the pouring out of the guts spirit that delivers the narrative that makes this gem of a movie so special.