The movies’ long tradition of funny fat guys continues with “The Comedy,” except that its putative star, Tim Heidecker, is merely fattish and funny only to himself. But he struts with a waddle all the same, like a baby who’s mistaken himself for a man. Some version of both Heidecker’s assumed identity confusion and that tradition of tubby humor are under consideration in this movie, which Rick Alverson directed and co-wrote with Robert Donne and Colm O’Leary.
In the opening shot, Heidecker is drunk and partying with his buddies — including Eric Wareheim, Heidecker’s partner in sketch drollery; the comedian Gregg Turkington; and the musician James Murphy, who recently stopped being LCD Soundsystem. They jam their crotches into each other, but it’s not sexual because nothing about these men is sexual. It’s a moment that does indicate that Alverson wants to say something. An hour and a half later he hasn’t said it. The movie, which is set mostly in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., is a critique of white-guy privilege, of Williamsburg’s hipsterism, of how men conduct themselves in comedies.