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There was a time when seeing the words “National Lampoon” in front of a film’s title was a sign of comedic quality and a good source for laughter. But that ended a long time ago, and they’ve devolved into something as tragic as the films that come “From the Guys That Brought You American Pie” and whatever Hollywood is calling a parody film nowadays. In steps another humorous comedy brand, CollegeHumor, who are looking to build upon their generally excellent short video archive with their first attempt at branching into feature films. And so we have Coffee Town.
And as you can tell from the above trailer, this isn’t exactly going to stop comedy fans in their tracks, though almost everyone involved in it makes it seem far more interesting, and one wonders just how long this thing was sitting under a coffee table before someone decided to release it. Coffee Town was written and directed by Brad Copeland, who wrote for Arrested Development, brought The Inbetweeners to MTV, and also co-wrote the script for Yogi Bear. It stars It’s Always Sunny’s Glenn Howerton, Steve Little (Eastbound & Down), Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation), Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights), and singer Josh Groban. Should be a hit, right?
Or at least, it should look better than an extended SNL sketch, right? Groban and Palicki work in the titular coffee shop, where the other three congregate for free Wi-Fi and caffeine. When the word gets out that Coffee Town is turning into a hip bistro, they decide to rob the place, though they don’t make it clear why that’s even an option. Schwartz plays a cop, so this seems like a double bad idea from both an outsider and an insider angle. It isn’t even clear what Howerton’s character does with his life, besides lust after Palicki. Also, Jake Johnson is a ghost at some point, seriously?
The one bit that made me laugh was the toilet breaking, but it’s a pretty obvious piece of slapstick. Less funny – but completely predictable – is rallying a joke around not knowing that someone has Down’s Syndrome. But still…I’m in this for Schwartz and Groban. Who’s with me? Just the crickets?
According to Deadline, the fill with debut on nearly every single VOD outlet imaginable on July 9, 2013, and will hit select theaters throughout the summer.