2012 Sundance Film Festival Comedies

2 Days In New York stars Chris Rock & writer/director Julie Delpy.

Although its enterprise was more of an exhibition of quirky, low-budget, predominantly independent movies, the esteemed Sundance Film Festival has snowballed into quite the legitimate Hollywood vacation in recent years. Fortunately, comedies are being taken much more seriously these days.

As Sundance begins rolling out their festival programming for 2012, quite a few funny notable directors, writers, and actors will be making their way to Park City in January. Yesterday, The Comic’s Comic shared a solid block of programming for Sundance 2012, and the list seems pretty whimsical. I’ve detailed a few of my personal favorites below:

The Comedy – Filmmaker Rick Alverson’s tale surrounding the antics of a Brooklyn-based trust fund hippie. The flick stars Tim Heidecker & Eric Warheim, and is co-written by Colm O’Leary, who starred in Alverson’s New Jerusalem from 2011 and 2010’s The Builder.

2 Days in New York – Julie Delpy takes another crack at writing, directing, and starring, only this time it doesn’t involve Ethan Hawke or Adam Goldberg. Still, one can only assume this film will make for an interesting mix of antics when stress from her work, family visiting town, and a new boyfriend in none other than Chris Rock all come into play.

Smashed – Relative newcomer James Ponsoldt finds a pickle of a premise: a happily married, alcoholic couple’s voyage hits the rocks when the Mrs. decides it’s time to sober up. The film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead and my boy, Jesse Pinkman himself, Aaron Paul. Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman is on board, along with Megan Mullally.  With all the not-so-funny going on with each thrilling new season of AMC’s Breaking Bad, it will be refreshing to see how Paul’s comedic acting chops fare in this film. After her lead role in Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, we already know Winstead has the stones.

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie – Tim Heidecker & Eric Wareheim are trying to take over the world. This time, they’re writing, directing, and starring in a comedy that I don’t think most folks will want to wait until the March 3rd, 2012 release date to see. The title says it all: the boys are granted a dream budget for their movie and, who’d have thunk it, hilarity ensues. If you don’t find yourself fitting the Tim & Eric mold of humor, the flick also stars Zach Galifianakis, Will Forte, John C. Reilly, and Will Ferrell.

Nobody Walks – By now, most folks know it’s common knowledge to watch everything John Krasinski is in. Fortunately for this film, I’m in love with his co-star, Olivia Thirlby. Hannah Takes the Stairs co-writer, Ry Russo-Young,  is at the helm, and with the help of co-writer and Tiny Furniture/HBO’s Girls auteur, Lena Dunham, it’s a seemingly sure fit. When Thirlby heads to Los Angeles by way of New York to live with a family for a week, it’s a safe bet that her good looks make things interesting. Might as well see anything that involves Dylan McDermott & Justin Kirk as well.

If this tip of the iceberg is any indication of the trending tones of festival programming to expect from the coming year, as Sundance tends to be, then there’s a lot to look forward to. Check out The Comic’s Comic for the list of comedy films and filmmakers that will be visiting Utah next month. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs January 19-29, 2012.

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