John Early Pandemic Comedy Is Absurdly Hysterical


  • Stress Positions is a pandemic comedy that captures the chaotic vitality of quarantine with correct and relatable depictions.
  • The primary character, Terry, is a neurotic and high-strung particular person navigating his relationships and bounds throughout lockdown.
  • The movie explores existential crises and skewers problems with gender, race, and sexuality from a jaded millennial perspective.



John Early and Theda Hammel’s Stress Positions often is the first actually hysterical pandemic comedy. Many movies and reveals centered on the pandemic have earnestly leaned into the tragedy of the 2020 lockdowns, whereas others, like Netflix’s The Bubble, have been hole jabs at a real-life disaster. Both method, many of those reveals got here too quickly. It is unclear if Stress Positions has arrived “too quickly” however its proximity to the pandemic would not make it any much less hysterical, even when it is hole in different areas.

Stress Positions is a comedy movie directed by Theda Hammel and initially premiered on the 2024 Sundance Movie Pageant. When Terry is compelled into quarantine at his former husband’s house, he’s left caring for his nephew, a well-liked nineteen-year-old mannequin, bringing undesirable consideration his method.


  • Stress Positions is among the funniest pandemic movies on the market
  • The movie is extremely relatable

  • Stress Positions may be hole in some areas
  • The movie may need come too quickly after the pandemic

Early stars as Terry Goon, a New Yorker residing in his soon-to-be-ex-husband Leo’s dilapidated brownstone. Stuffed within the basement is his nephew Bahlul (Qaher Harhash), incapacitated by a severely damaged leg. A 3rd resident, Coco (Rebecca F. Wright) lives on the third flooring, however Terry sprays the air with RAID and Lysol each time she is compelled to work together together with his quarantine pod.

Stress Positions Captures The Chaotic Vitality Of Quarantine

Instructed by way of voiceover, Karla, performed by writer-director Hammel, Stress Positions depicts quarantine in a method which will virtually be robust to observe given how correct it’s. From stepping exterior and making noise at sure occasions throughout the day to the infinite Grubhub deliveries which are sprayed down, wiped down, and punctiliously laid out on the counter earlier than being eaten, it is an all-too-real depiction.

Early vacillates between high-strung neuroses and dissociation with ease and, on high of that, his bodily comedy is a sight to behold as he stumbles across the brownstone.

Terry is about as neurotic as they arrive and can remind you of that particular person in your life who refused to see you — even from a distance — for almost all of the yr. Sadly, the individuals in Terry’s life do not care a lot about his boundaries. Karla, for one, is at all times barging in, eager to fulfill Terry’s mannequin nephew Bahlul and to get away from her girlfriend with whom she shares an house. Early vacillates between high-strung neuroses and dissociation with ease and his bodily comedy is a sight to behold as he stumbles across the brownstone.

Stress Positions Reaches For One thing Extra With Its Comedy

Whereas Terry and Karla navigate their very own identities as post-2010s Brooklynites in a quickly altering world, a bunch of equally fascinating characters orbits round them. Bahlul is probably essentially the most fascinating, as he has an existential disaster whereas residing with Terry. He writes about his baby — additionally informed in voiceover — slowly revealing issues about Terry and his relationship with Bahlul’s mother that make you see Early’s character in a unique, extra truthful mild.

By Bahlul, Karla, and different voiceovers, Stress Positions’ story is informed in an deliberately disorienting method, underscoring the sensation of listlessness all of us felt within the early summer season months of 2020. It is an efficient formal train that results in some nice comedy as the movie skewers problems with gender, race, and sexuality from a decidedly millennial perspective, one so jaded that it may’t see past its reflection within the mirror. Chances are you’ll hate Terry, Karla, and people round them, however not as a lot as they hate themselves (they usually’ll by no means allow you to neglect that).

It is by way of characters like Coco, Bahlul, and even Ronald (Faheem Ali, enjoying a meals courier who will get wrapped in Karla and Terry’s internet), that actual freedom is discovered. Terry, Karla, and Leo will repeat the cycles we see them in, the cycles they themselves know they’re repeating. However, in observing these cycles, Bahlul, Coco, Ronald, and possibly even us can escape of a jaded place to seek out one thing extra genuine, even whether it is as absurd as something that occurs within the movie.

Stress Positions premiered on the 2024 Sundance Movie Pageant within the US Dramatic Competitors part.

Stress Positions

Launch Date
January 18, 2024

Theda Hammel

John Roberts , John Early , Theda Hammel , Amy Zimmer

95 Minutes

Faheem Ali , Theda Hammel

Seaview Productions


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