A man is having the worst week of his life and his two best friends come over to cheer him up. They are all named Michael. “Three Michaels,” the new short by Tom Levin — director of the NoBudge all-timer, “Men’s Thanksgiving” — is almost entirely improvised and self-contained within a Brooklyn apartment over the course of one day. What starts as an attempt to comfort their buddy going through a breakup and a health issue, turns into an all-day bicker session that calls into question how three men could be such bad friends to one another. Roaming into some more unpleasant territory than his previous work (in addition to 2014’s “Men’s Thanksgiving,” we also featured his 2016 short, “Amy Porter”), Levin enlists Don Fanelli, Michael Kayne, and Connor Ratliff to star, and though the foundation is improv comedy, it’s not necessarily a light, carefree watch. Particularly in a movie that opens with an extended bit about sandwiches, the more that gets revealed about the three men’s past, the more painful it is to endure, resulting in a surprisingly complex viewing experience.
Directed by Tom Levin. Starring and improvised by Don Fanelli, Michael Kayne, Connor Ratliff.