Indifferent even to the prospects of inheriting his father’s estate, Swanson has been insulated his whole life by the bubble of privilege. He and his hipster friends live in a tepid social paradise, a.k.a. Williamsburg, where their good fortune breeds indifference and recreational cruelty. They pacify their discontent with games of mock sincerity and irreverence, as though humor itself were dying and had nothing left to do but turn on itself. Testing limits to break through their numbness, they act out like spoiled children—with ironic beards and beer bellies.

Rick Alverson unleashes a camouflaged assault on contemporary culture veiled in a gorgeously crafted and humorous veneer. As taboos are broken, audience members are forced to question their boundaries and whether they should be laughing with it, at it, or not at all. A scathing look at the white male on the verge of collapse, The Comedy provokes and disorients; it’s a carefully rendered cautionary fable for the autumn of America.