Brigsby Bear 2017 ****

Seemingly a holiday project for various members of the Saturday Night Live team, Brigsby Bear is a touching comedy-drama about a nerd’s obsession with sci-fi. That’s a fairly universal phenomenon, but Brigsby Bear triples down on it by having James (Kyle Mooney) kidnapped from his parents and raised on nothing but the Brigsby Bear tv show, which is created especially for him by his father (Mark Hamill). When James is rescued, he misses the show of his formative years so much that he enlists the help of his fellow teenagers to direct a concluding episode and bring the cycle to a close. The casting of Hamill is a nod towards where Dave McCary’s film is going, and a comic highpoint is Greg Kinnear, whose initially sceptical cop ends up playing the Obi Wan Kenobi role in the fantasy saga. Cameos from Andy Samberg, Clare Danes and Beck Bennett help move things along, and Brigsby Bear manages to be uplifting while also offering a cautionary tale about the stories we consume and why they were constructed.


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