You didn’t have to be a nerd to understand what it felt like in high school when a cooler, more personable kid joined your group and threatened your position in the gang. It’s easy to relate to that feeling of jealousy and isolation when they start hanging out with your friends and seem to be having a lot more fun than you ever did. The problem with the characters in Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews‘ Zero Charisma, though, is that they’re not kids at all; they’re grown men obsessed with a tabletop role-playing game a la Dungeons and Dragons and their ringleader really needs to take a chill pill.
As Game Master, Scott (Sam Eidson) takes his duties seriously, leading his friends in their weekly quests and battles through their fantasy world. But when a hipster nerd joins their league (Garrett Graham), it just about all but unravels him. But it’s unclear from the trailer why he’s actually having this reaction. Is it that this role-playing game is his whole life, and the new nerd’s presence is threatening the only place where he has influence and feels cool? Likely.
Or, is there a deeper commentary at work here about how society has long cast nerds in the shadows for doing stereotypical nerd things like playing tabletop role-playing games, and all of the sudden, it’s hip to be a nerd. Either way, it looks like there’s going to be a geek battle that will be fun to watch. Our own Scott Beggs reviewed this pretty favorably at SXSW. Check out the film’s first trailer after the break to get a taste:
Zero Charisma is in theaters October 11th.