First Time Female Director (Chelsea Peretti, 2023): USA

Reviewed by B Pyle at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, 2024.
  First Time Female Director (Chelsea Peretti, 2023) is a film directed, written, and starring comedian Chelsea Peretti, and stars other well known actors such as Amy Poehler and Andy Dick.  This is a slapstick meets sarcastic farce movie.  It is very funny, and timely, and pokes fun at everything it portrays.  The colors are bold, and the portrayals are enlightening SNL improv skit sitcom meets longer format.  For the edge of farce, I care about the characters.  The extremed-for-laugh situations are funny and relatable. 

I saw First Time Female Director at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2024.  

The first time female director gets her job because her predecessor loses his job.  Here stereotypes are mocked and spoofed to great comic effect.  The director has a drunk gambling addicted therapist who she drinks with and counsels not to do cocaine again.  The actors are spoofs of character tropes, like the posting younger actress who says that people are posting random crying outbursts and hospital visits, with no explanation. Almost everything is mined for laughs, and even when I wasn’t laughing, things were comical and funny.  Andy Richter plays the theater director, and Amy Poehler the therapist.  

The acting here is well done and convincing.  There are seasoned comic actors, who seem to enjoy spoofing themselves, and the current climate for creating plays, creative performance online, movies and media in 2024.  The costumes and bright colors in the makeup and stage design are funny and sarcastic as well.  The world for the characters to play against is well designed. 

This Is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner, 1984), has similar performative farce, and here it is in the context of a play the director writes, and changes to reflect today’s social concerns, as spoken by a southern family from the past.  This whimsicality, mixed with out-of-touch, in-touch is funny, as well as PETA bloodsport over water waste.  There is also a similar feeling to more recent films like Bottoms (Emma Seligman, 2023), with the nonsensical use of social concerns subverted in comedic twists.  This is like a longer episode of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, in the musicality in mixing many societal concerns with the comedic everyday.  Amy Poehler has worked on SNL and Parks and Recreation, and other comedy movies.  Farcical extremes are at play here, as well as with Andy Richter’s late night banter and skits.  There is a large cast here all bringing their comedy skills and experience and playing off one another.  

If you like to laugh, and find everyday life events comical and spoofable, you would enjoy this film.  This film shows the plight and hopes and frustrations of creative endeavor, from many points of view.  The timing, and pacing, are well thought out.  It probably took a lot of hard work to make the energy move, and the plot feel so ridiculous.  First Time Female Director, provides comedy as a relief to sometimes ridiculously feeling social divisions.  It can be helpful to feel empathy in the ridiculous odyssey of a journey that Chelsea has to take to get her play made.  The movie seems shorter because it is well made.  This film is definitely worth it to see.  Beginning on March 8 as a Roku Original, it streams free on Roku.

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