First it’s very funny, then it jumps off the deep end. Actually, that sounds about right for the first trailer for the first feature film project from the folks at CollegeHumor, long a purveyor of online shenanigans. What we might not have been expecting from Coffee Town is the fact that it’s (a) got a great cast, (b) working with a bit of subtlety and (c) captures effortlessly the culture of a generation that works inside coffee shops. Also, it’s probably the weirdest Josh Groban sighting you’re going to get for a while.
Let’s watch the trailer together, then discuss:
Written and directed by longtime Arrested Development and My Name is Earl producer Brad Copeland, Coffee Town revolves around Will, played by It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia savant Glenn Howerton. He’s “a 30-something website manager who uses a local café, Coffee Town, as his office. When the owners of the shop discuss plans to convert Coffee Town into a bar, Will enlists the help of his two best friends Chad and Gino (Steve Little and Ben Schwartz) to save his freeloading existence. In order to thwart the plans of Coffee Town’s owners, the trio stages a robbery to create the illusion of an unsafe neighborhood not suitable for the proposed venue. Also standing in their way is Sam (Josh Groban), a disgruntled barista with delusions of rock star grandeur, and Will’s heartache over unrequited love for Becca (Adrianne Palicki).”
The first part of that is funny on its own, in the short CollegeHumor-friendly way. Working from a coffee shop creates enough comedy to fill about 20-30 minutes on relationship and situational-driven gags alone. What’s interesting about Coffee Town is the turn toward a wild crime-filled fight against gentrification. Because who wants to see their favorite local coffee shop turn into a corporate bistro party house (they really are right about our generation, you know — we’re terrible). The other surprisingly humorous element of this trailer is the delusional rock star/antagonist figure played by Josh Groban. This feels like an evolution from his character in Crazy, Stupid, Love. The guy’s got some comedic chops to go along with the voice of an angel.
FilmBuff will release Coffee Town on July 9 across all digital platforms. CollegeHumor will also screen the film in select theatrical engagements leading up to the official Festival premiere at Just for Laughs in Montreal.