“On the Count of Three” is a Pitch-Black Comedy – Movie Review

I never expected the Give Me Back My Filet-O-Fish song to make its grand return in 2022, but that’s the magic of the movies.

On the Count of Three (2022)

Jerrod Carmichael’s risky comedy, On the Count of Three, is one of the best of the year so far. Refreshingly honest about a serious topic, while maintaining a sense of humor, I highly recommend giving it a watch.

The film opens with two friends, Val and Kevin (Carmichael and Christopher Abbott, respectively), pointing guns at one another. The two have concluded that life is not worth living and agree to take their own lives together. At the last minute, Kevin thwarts the attempted suicide, declaring that he needs more time. The two agree to spend their last day doing some good, before they revisit this same spot and go through with their plan.

A Genuinely Funny Drama

The premise of On the Count of Three is dark. The execution of said premise is not much lighter. What makes the film successful is its ability to take the subject matter seriously, while utilizing the dialogue to bring much needed levity to the story. Any time the characters threaten to take the movie in a direction that is too tough to watch, they bring quick-witted dialogue as a weapon to fight off any such notion. 

On the Count of Three (2022)

It is rare that I finish a movie and think to myself how I wish it had been longer but I found myself doing that with On the Count of Three. Carmichael and Abbott are such lovable protagonists that it is impossible not to hope for the best for them. In a short amount of time, the two find their way to your heart. The supporting cast around them, including JB Smoove, Tiffany Haddish, and Henry Wrinkler, are always welcome presences. None of them are in it for a very long time, but their impacts are felt.

It’s a Great Day to Be Alive

Even as Val and Kevin attempt to leave the world better than they found it, the reason behind it cannot be ignored. The looming threat of what the two plan to do at the end of the day is a constant reminder that life is fleeting. As the two are fulfilling their dying wishes, you can’t help but hope that these moments of catharsis will be enough for them to change their minds.

On the Count of Three (2022)

As director, Carmichael displays such a strong sense of character. It truly feels like we are being dropped into these character’s lives on this particular day.  As he delicately toes the line that such a sensitive topic comes with, his debut has me excited to see what comes next from him in the director’s chair.

On the Count of Three is hilarious and surprisingly touching. The genuine appreciation that I feel for these characters is a real testament to the effort put in by the writers, actors, and director. A strong recommend for anyone wanting to check out something a bit different than what is playing in theaters.

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