Breaking ground as the first full-length feature film produced and distributed by CollegeHumor, the chief producer of digital comedic content for over a decade, Coffee Town poses a very relevant and serious question for today’s young/not-so-young 30-somethings: What would you do if your makeshift office at a Starbucks-esque kind of joint was being threatened by corporate heads that want to turn it into an upscale bistro? Chew on that one for a bit.
Will (Glenn Howerton, Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia) spends his working day as a web manager at his neighborhood Coffee Town, which is bountiful in seating, electrical outlets.. And well, coffee. His routine consists of ordering coffee from arch-nemesis and resident barista/douche bag Sam (Josh Groban), acquiring convenient seating, pining over a hot frequenter and hanging out with his unfavorable best friends.
When Will hears that his home away from home may disappear he foresees the disappearance of many other things, including his office space, his connection to the outside world and his opportunity to get with his dream girl Becca (Adrianne Palicki, Friday Night Lights). Hoping to decrease favorability for the location, Will enlists his buddies Chad (Steve Little, Eastbound & Down) and Gino (Ben Schwartz, House of Lies) to help stage a fake robbery.
Written and directed by Brad Copeland (Arrested Development, Wild Hogs) Coffee Town touches on some of awkward moments and interesting characters we encounter at our real life Coffee Towns. (They could have worked in a scene where Will is forced to listen to a loud, tedious and floundering job interview taking place a table over. Those are the best.)
The indie comedy isn’t always on, but its band of proven comedic talents is entertaining throughout. The supporting cast especially has a lot to work with, their characters being more outrageous than Howerton’s. Groban shines as the self-involved wannabe musician who engages in psychological warfare with Will, and Schwartz knocks sleazy cop out of the park as Gino. Steve Little is also very good as Chad, the friend that always says the worst and most wrong thing possible at any given moment.
More importantly, Coffee Town might just redefine what it means to be a successful comedy. Independently produced for less than $1 million, marketed mainly on social media and released digitally for a fee, CollegeHumor has brought to light new platforms for filmmakers and film-goers (though technically, in this case, they’re not goers…they’re simply viewers). Comedy is doing its thing without adhering to industry methods, standards and expectations and that alone is pretty impressive.