The Comedy ★★★½

There’s a strong thesis here, suggesting that a sustained ironic gaze inevitably curdles into alienation. The treatment of that thesis feels repulsive, though, not only because it refuses to avert its gaze as repetition moves from plausibly comic to a blunt exertion of privilege, but also because Alverson dares to cast these figures in a beatific light. As a result, the film presents a true test of an audience’s ability to accept humanist cinema, attempting to redeem those who would offer none other the same courtesy.