David is the directorial and writing debut of Zach Woods. Many will know Woods for his roles as the awkward and/or nerdy man that skulks about in shows like The Office, Silicon Valley, and Avenue 5. He’s often a welcome sight to many fans of American comedy. Now though he’s trying out working behind the camera. If this is anything to go by, there’s a bright future ahead for him.
Saying more than a sentence about the story of David will probably give a lot away. Since it’s a very short short film. All you really need to know is that Will Ferrell is a psychiatrist who’s session with a patient is interrupted by his son.
Ferrell is his usual hilarious self in this film. Though what separates this role from characters like Ron Burgundy is that he never quite becomes a man child. There are of course points where he has to be a bit silly. But this is more because he’s forced to, rather than that is who he is. This is obviously quite fitting as his character being a shrink wouldn’t get many patients if he acted like he did in Step Brothers. It’s also nice to see Will Ferrell looking his age. He looks real in this film. His hair is grey and he’s got a nice white stubble. He looks his part while also showing us the real man. Too many times do we see Will in a silly wig or makeup.
Will Ferrell’s supporting cast is William Jackson Harper and the lesser-known Fred Hechinger. Both provide hilarious performances and make all the scenes in this film hard to breathe through. Zach Woods clearly went to the Larry David school of writing comedic arguments. It will be very nice to see Hechinger show up in more films like this. He’s definitely got the chops to be in a film like Anchorman.
What adds to the film’s charm is its simplicity. Like many short films, it is basically just set in one location. Albeit with a quick trip to another location at the end. This is the kind of film that university lecturers should show to their students to inspire them. It could easily be done on a Student loan budget. Too often are short films, especially from students, trying hard to be sad or twisty. It’s really refreshing to see a film like this. Quick, fun, and hysterical.
Another part to note is how beautifully shot David is. Even though it’s just set in a small office, the colours spark off the screen. There’s a sort of home video feeling to it. This adds to the realism while in turn turning up the ridiculousness of the comedy.
Zach Woods has proven in ten minutes that he can become a fantastic comedy director. Hopefully, Adam McKay or Judd Apatow will see this and will give him some money to go and make a full feature. Will Ferrell has connections, so the talks are probably happening as you’re reading.