Coffee Town
Coffee Town is not going to win an Oscar.  But how many movies that have recently won Oscars have been entertaining or enjoyable?  At the very least, Coffee Town achieves both of those objectives with several scenes that are actually laugh-out-loud funny—though the waning pace slows the momentum down at certain points, but that’s probably the worst thing I can say about Coffee Town (which is a good thing).

As a comedy, Coffee Town is very much in the same vein as Office Space, but just don’t expect it to have the same cult following since there’s not that re-watchability factor.  Unlike Office Space, the love side story wasn’t able to capture my interest, which makes it feel like more of a necessary plot device to advance and fill the story.  Still, there’s some comic value added from this storyline throughout the movie.

Coffee Town proves that Glenn Howerton (best known as Dennis from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) can carry a comedy as he plays Will, a website manager who spends most of his time working from Coffee Town.  Will’s two friends Chad (played by Steve Little) and Gino (played by Ben Schwartz) provide enjoyable fodder as comic relief characters.  And even Sam (played by Josh Groban) was an affable dickhead as the barista jockeying for position against Will for the affection of Becca—the love interest in Lycra workout shorts played by Adrianne Palicki.

Becca

Although there’s no real motivation to watch Coffee Town more than once unless you are a huge fan of Glenn Howertown, anyone should be able to enjoy the absurdist, outlandish fun of watching three idiots trying to stage a fake robbery to ruin the chances of Coffee Town converting into an upscale bistro lounge.  As with any movie, your experience always revolves around your expectations and Coffee Town is no different.  While searching for images for this review, I unfortunately stumbled across a review of Coffee Town on Sprudge.com, which apparently is a website that views the world through a murky coffee cup.

To address this review for a second, Coffee Town is not a thesis on coffee shop customer service and the happiness of baristas.  Do not treat it as such.  Coffee Town has no responsibility to show an actual potrayal of life as a barista.  Is there really an audience clamoring for this type of perspective?

Perhaps the writer of this Sprudge.com review of Coffee Town has had a coffee enema shoved up his ass by writer-director Brad Copeland.  If that is the case, then I can understand the vitriol for how the baristas are portrayed in this movie.  Why should anyone care about the customer service (or lack thereof) in a movie?

Here is an actual excerpt from the review in question…

“Can’t we just have one movie where Melissa McCarthy or Rebel Wilson or someone, ANYONE plays a barista who goofily loves her job? How about that hunky Chris Pratt pulling bar shifts at an awesome midwestern specialty cafe? Or maybe Emma Watson, playing against type as gosh-shucks hayseed San Francisco transplant, doing her best to avoid the seedier side of the city and getting taken in by its vibrant barista community.

It could just be a cameo; anything to offset crappy characters like this who make us all look like miserable barrel-scrapers. Films like “Coffee Town” do not accurately depict the barista lifestyle or work requirements; like Ray from Girls before him, Sam is a terrible manager and should have been fired years ago with all that bad attitude.”

Don’t be this guy.  I’m fine with Coffee Town being labeled as “one of the worst coffee-themed films ever” because it is a worthwhile comedy in a landscape where a majority of comedies are increasingly less worthwhile.  In addition, this is probably the best use of a special needs character in a movie with Toby (played by Josh Perry) serving a comedic supporting role that aspires to be more than just the standard pandering and exploitation experienced in a movie such as The Ringer.

Barista

Underneath everything, there is somewhat of a heart in Coffee Town.  The cheesy moral of the story is that everyone strives to achieve a sense of belonging, which is why Will finds himself every day in the familiar surroundings of his local coffee shop.  It is a shame that there wasn’t a bit more substance lent to the plot or an improved secondary storyline that would have made Coffee Town more memorable to push it into the realm of a cult classic like Office Space.

But even though this comedy probably won’t be remembered in a few years, it is a satisfying experience with a fair share of laughs that will hopefully springboard Glenn Howerton into more substantial roles in the future.  If you want to see a miserably boring movie that accurately portrays the life of a barista and gives you a glimpse of real-life customer service, then avoid Coffee Town.

If you’re a fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or self-deprecating, ball-busting humor, then I recommend seeking out and staying in Coffee Town for a brisk hour and a half.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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Comments
  1. screensnacks says:

    Thanks for posting this!

    The distribution of this movie is totally fascinating. They seem to be aiming for a higher viewership online than in theaters, which is smart for a movie with a budget under $1 million.

    If Orange is the New Black taught us anything, its that production companies could cut the middleman and get some major buzz in the web community. Very cool.

    -Spencer

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