Ilana Glazer shows off her versatile talent with new Hulu thriller, ‘False Positive’

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HULU

False Positive — After months of trying and failing to get pregnant, Lucy (Ilana Glazer) and Adrian (Justin Theroux) finally find their dream fertility doctor in the illustrious Dr. Hindle (Pierce Brosnan). But after becoming pregnant with a healthy baby girl, Lucy begins to notice something sinister through Hindle’s gleaming charm, and she sets out to uncover the unsettling truth about him, and her own birth story. As if getting pregnant weren’t complicated enough… Adrian (Justin Theroux) and Lucy (Ilana Glazer), shown. (Photo by: Anna Kooris/Hulu)

DAN BUFFA, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT

Ilana Glazer can do comedy and drama with the ease of a pro, but she’s adding another level of ability to her Hollywood repertoire this summer: thriller lead actress.

In a new movie co-starring Justin Theroux and Pierce Brosnan named “False Positive,” the “Broad City” star and scribe plays a young woman hoping to have children with her husband (Theroux). They acquire the expertise of a local fertility clinic run by Brosnan’s endocrinologist, and everything seems to be running smoothly. But, as all thrillers with a horror-bend to its plot structure go, things start to go bad and the formerly happy couple encounter hardships, lies, deceit and the whole ball of wax.

“False Positive” was co-written by Glazer and her “Broad City” collaborator, John Lee, who also directed the film. According to Yahoo News, they bring a lot of attention to the small details that usually go unnoticed in this genre. Instead of having the couple just experience trouble after seemingly finding comfort in Brosnan’s doctor, there are other crucial elements to the story. How Glazer’s Lucy lost her mom before the story begins and how she is seen at her job as a lunch runner instead of an asset. When Lucy suddenly becomes pregnant with triplets, she is forced to choose between protecting the twins or keeping the girl in her womb extra safe throughout the pregnancy. Little touches that make the suspense land harder punches.

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It’s not a surprise to see Glazer spin words into laughs or tears; she’s been a bright light for the Jewish acting community for years. Along with Abbi Jacobson, her BFF on “Broad City” and the co-writer of that show, Glazer traces her Jewish roots straight into her creative work and you can tell by quips found in this “18 things” piece that Alma published. She grew up on Long Island, in a heavily Republican town that was known as a place where “guidos meet potato farmers’ grandchildren.” Glazer’s Reform Jewish family wasn’t exactly conventional in that town, even if they were still happy folks who could get a laugh out of any situation.

Glazer humorously referred to herself as a “total New York Jew” in an article once, noting her smile, appearance, and big laugh. She was roommates with fellow Jewish actress, Rachel Bloom, in college. She and Jacobson met while taking improv classes, first making “Broad City” as a web series before it took off. Who else performs a Julia Louis-Dreyfus tribute dance at the Kennedy Center during the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor with Jacobson that blew the doors off the show? Try watching this without laughing.

“False Positive” simply represents another ability Glazer is showing to the world, something the 34-year-old plans to keep doing as her career unfolds. The Hulu Original film currently holds a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and will hit the streaming service tomorrow. If you don’t have plans this weekend, I would give it a shot. If you haven’t watched “Broad City” just yet, push play on that one next. And then inside a single evening, you can see the broad spectrum of talent that she offers.

The best creators and artists use their childhood and upbringing as fuel for their passions. Every story has some quirk and unique juice to its appeal, and Glazer is no different. Her family history has endless shows and scripts dripping from it, especially her grandparents, who were from the Boroughs in New York: Brooklyn and the Bronx. Glazer said that made them “double Jews” but if you add comedy to the mix, she is technically a “triple Jew.”

Right there, I see her next project. She will take to the streets and ask Jewish souls if they are double or triple Jewish. Nothing official yet, of course, but I wouldn’t doubt a talent like Ilana Glazer. Whether it’s drama, comedy or a genuinely timely thriller, she can do it all.