Coffee Town is the feature film debut from Internet comedy powerhouse CollegeHumor and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Working with just a $2 million budget writer and director Brad Copeland strays away from gimmicks and over production, instead focusing on strong dialogue that doesn’t feel forced, and therefore leads to jokes that don’t feel cheap.
Glenn Howerton, whom you know and love from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, stars as a website manager who discovers the coffee shop he uses as an office may be turned into a bar. It’s not really as much the focus, but instead a vehicle to guide us through a series of almost sketch-like scenes that rarely disappoint. Howerton is joined by Parks and Recreation scene-stealer Ben Schwartz and an almost unrecognizable Josh Groban, who proves his comic worth as a wanna-be musician barista.
The group flows seamlessly through the story that feels less like a movie and more like hanging out with a group of friends. With this day and age of online employment, it’s not difficult for a vast majority of viewers to relate to Howerton’s character and his love of what has become his office. The jokes are on point without ever being abrasive and it never gets too mean. Also, if there’s any chance of a spinoff, Groban’s character would make a fantastic focal point.
Coffee Town is a refreshing change of pace from the recent comedic box office entries that have relied on cheap, raunchy laughs over intelligent, well-written humor. Best of all, Coffee Town and its cast is charming enough that you’ll look forward to multiple viewings.
While the story of Will’s pursuit of Becca, a coffee shop patron played by Adrianne Palicki, takes the expected rom-com path, it has a realness and charm to it, simply because the direction and performances are so well done. It’s a great movie relationship without feeling like a movie relationship.
Kudos to CollegeHumor for taking a risk on creating a full feature film, and if this is any indication of what they’re capable of, let’s hope this is the first of many. You can purchase the film on iTunes and if you’re planning on attending the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival director Brad Copeland, along with Howerton, Schwartz, and Palicki, will be conducting a Q&A on July 27th. Tickets are available now.