ENTERTAINMENT, directed by Rick Alverson and written by Rick Alverson, Gregg Turkington, and Tim Heidecker is the story of a broken, aging comedian tours the California desert, lost in a cycle of third-rate venues, novelty tourist attractions, and vain attempts to reach his estranged daughter. By day, he slogs through the barren landscape, inadvertently alienating every acquaintance. At night, he seeks solace in the animation of his onstage persona. Fueled by the promise of a lucrative Hollywood engagement, he trudges through a series of increasingly surreal and volatile encounters. In Alverson’s hallucinatory fugue, Gregg Turkington stars as The Comedian, caught in a struggle between being the center of attention and the object of alienation, occasionally challenged by an unexpected cast of characters played by Tye Sheridan, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera, and Amy Seimetz. Greg Turkington gives a brave, uncompromising performance as The Comedian in this daring and rewarding ride through a personal and cultural hellscape.
“A Twisted Existential Comedic Masterwork” – The Playlist, Indiewire
“Like Hamburger’s meta-hacky comedy routine, the film confronts and challenges in order to produce something increasingly rare in American cinema: an active, engaged experience.” – John Semley, Globe and Mail
“I left this barbed portrait of a cracking-up comic with more than a little respect for its fearless director, Rick Alverson, and his trusting star, Gregg Turkington. You can’t deny that they’re a match made in heaven.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
“It’s a portrait of the comedy tour as odyssey of madness, a plummet into the abyss.” – A. A. Dowd, AV Club