Chelsea Peretti’s “First Time Female Director” Offers Amusing Theatrical Sendup but Falters in Execution

Courtesy of Roku

Chelsea Peretti takes on the role of writer, director, producer, and star in “First Time Female Director,” a comedic exploration of the theatrical world and the challenges of making one’s directorial debut. While the film offers glimpses of humor and insight into the actor-director dynamic, it ultimately falls short of fully realizing its potential.

The story revolves around Sam Clifford (played by Peretti), who finds herself thrust into the director’s chair after her predecessor is removed due to inappropriate workplace conduct. Sam must navigate the complexities of leading a cast of eccentric actors while grappling with her own insecurities and doubts about her abilities.

Peretti’s portrayal of Sam captures the anxiety and uncertainty that come with stepping into a new role, but the film’s comedic moments often feel forced and lack the sharp wit audiences may expect from the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” alum. Despite the impressive ensemble cast, including Andy Richter, Megan Mullally, and Amy Poehler, the humor often falls flat, failing to fully capitalize on the potential of its premise.

One of the film’s strengths lies in its depiction of the actor-director relationship, portraying it as a delicate balance of power dynamics and egos. The interactions between Sam and her cast members provide some of the film’s more amusing moments, highlighting the absurdity of the theatrical world.

However, “First Time Female Director” struggles to maintain momentum, with the plot meandering and the humor feeling inconsistent. The lo-fi aesthetic, while perhaps intended to lend authenticity to the film’s mockumentary style, often comes across as amateurish and detracts from the overall viewing experience.

Despite its shortcomings, the film offers glimpses of Peretti’s potential as a filmmaker and storyteller. While “First Time Female Director” may not fully deliver on its promise, it serves as a stepping stone for Peretti’s future endeavors behind the camera.

“First Time Female Director” will be available for streaming exclusively on the Roku Channel starting March 8, 2024. While it may not reach the heights of comedic brilliance, fans of Peretti and theatrical satire may still find moments of enjoyment in this quirky directorial debut.