Writing, directing and producing Brooklyn Nine-Nine Alum Chelsea Peretti, First time female director Gives a glimpse of a woman’s opportunity to advance in her career with as little support as possible. Peretti stars in his feature debut as Sam, a playwright who takes on the role of director after his male counterpart is fired for inappropriate behavior. As Sam has to prove himself in the theater, his acting debut turns out to be more challenging than he imagined, with opinions and ambivalence about his acting. A mixture of sarcasm and sarcasm, First time female director It had the elements to succeed, but the disturbing humor overshadowed its important messaging.
There is a unique perspective from which Peretti shares this story First time female director. While his character is getting his first directing experience at a local Glendale theater, Peretti himself makes his feature debut. You almost have to ask if this was Peretti’s experience (now or in the past): lack of support, NASA doubting his every move, very little confidence. I’m inclined to believe that he’d almost never make a biopic that’s on the nose, especially considering not much worked in this film. But someone out there has had a similar experience to Sam’s, which raises a bigger issue about the lack of support women are given to succeed.
If the script had maintained some sort of focus, this would have been a great theme to explore. However, there seems to have been a big push for jokes, silliness, and outlandish scenes masked as satire at the expense of sound commentary and creating an interesting story. Of course, there is a certain expectation in tone when discussing theater and all that comes with it — big productions, elaborate performances, colorful characters — all of which are included. First time female director. But these elements of her characterization trump anything else she tries to say about the female experience when given the opportunity. And unfortunately, this results in a disappointing viewing experience.
As the story progresses, it becomes clear that Sam is in over his head as a theater director. He often changes his leadership style to impress individual teammates, and there are times when his game starts to make little sense. During these sequences, a good film is aching to break down as these moments critique skill versus desire. Is Sam also a good playwright and director? Or, the fact that he wasn’t even the artistic director’s (Andy Richter) third choice? Exploring this other side of the argument—that Sam isn’t set up for success versus being terrible at the job—would introduce layers of tension to the script that it lacks because of the forced comedy. Unfortunately, the entire film suffers for this, and it comes across as a plethora of unfunny sketches that overstay their welcome.
one thing First time female director Trying to do the right thing gives a glimpse into the competitive nature within theatre. Specifically, when Peretti’s character Sam sees his colleague (Joshua Roquemore) shine in his own production, it sends him into a downward spiral of self-doubt and mayhem, leading Sam to make last-minute changes to an already funny script. However, even in these circumstances Perrette’s characterization fails to achieve commentary potential, especially when the rival play comes after being produced by a black woman. Instead of Sam finding her own voice, she borrows ideas from women of color but fails miserably. And unfortunately, nothing major comes of this exploration, adding to the long list of negatives the film already suffers from.
Strange as it may sound, thanks to the film’s basis in theatrical productions, First time female director Plays like a stage play that never knows when to bring down the curtain. Its endless, offbeat humor is tiresome and obnoxious, the commentary is short-lived, and the jokes about Sam’s ineptitude are repetitive. Peretti does his best to make these three elements of his feature debut selling points (if the title can’t do it on its own), but they aren’t executed well enough to reach a wide audience. I’m sure this mockumentary-style feature will find its audience somewhere, but it’s hard to pass up.