Looking Back at 2010s Films: Brigsby Bear (2017)

10 Oct

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By Tanner Smith

Continuing my series of Looking Back at 2010s Films, “Brigsby Bear” is dope as sh*t!……Someone please tell me I’m not the only one who has seen this movie, and you understand that reference!

“SNL” regular Kyle Mooney co-wrote and co-stars in one of the most original indie dramedies I’ve ever seen. (I don’t think that’s hyperbole.) I don’t even want to say too much about this one, because it’s best to go into it knowing as little as possible.

That’s how I watched it for the first time. I knew it was produced by The Lonely Island, I knew Mark Hamill was in it, I knew it got good reviews, and that there was some kind of Barney-like children’s mascot named Brigsby Bear. (I didn’t know who Mooney was though–I haven’t watched “SNL” in years.) That was literally all I knew about the film when I rented the DVD from the library. If somebody reading this already saw this movie (please tell me you did), you can imagine the questions I had within the first 10 minutes:

-“Why is Brigsby more off-putting than Barney the Dinosaur?”
-“What’s with the math problems?”
-“Why is this 20something-year-old man obsessed with this kiddie fare?”
-“What kind of world are we in? Post-apocalyptic?”
-“What’s up with this guy? What’s up with his parents?”
-“WHAT IS GOING ON??”

It was so weird! But I kept watching because something about it just demanded me to. And boy, was I glad I did.

I didn’t know where it was going. And then at around the 10-minute mark, when the rug was pulled out from under me and I exclaimed to myself, “OHHHH!,” that just leveled the scenic ground because there was new territory to discover and venture through. I was happy watching this film as this guy, a naive, 25-year-old innocent named James (played by Mooney), found himself forced into a whole new life and needs Brigsby to get him through it, even if no one else understands why.

The friends he makes, the new connections he forms with his family, the misadventures he shares with them, the new material he discovers, his newfound passion for being creative–I really like all of that. Yeah, some of it is sitcomish, but much of it is very sincere, and I keep watching it because it’s just so likable.

I’m trying to be less “spoiler-y” in these posts if I’m not talking about something that’s very popular. The other day at work (at a movie theater), my coworkers were rolling/packaging movie posters, I noticed one for “Brigsby Bear,” I expressed my enthusiasm for it…they had no idea what I was talking about. You know you’re in trouble when arthouse theater workers don’t know something that should be known. And I can’t recommend “Brigsby Bear” enough.

It’s dope as sh*t!

One Response to “Looking Back at 2010s Films: Brigsby Bear (2017)”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Prepping for My Top 20 Films of the 2010s | Smith's Verdict - November 27, 2019

    […] Celebration of Creativity!—“Sing Street,” “Operation Avalanche,” “A Star is Born,” “Birdman,” “Brigsby Bear” […]

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