The same day Grande scored her second No. 1 single with “7 Rings,” Davidson made his splashy Sundance debut in coming-of-age comedy “Big Time Adolescence,” which premiered at the film festival Monday afternoon.
It’s been a rocky past few months for the famous exes, who called off their whirlwind engagement in October. Davidson worried fans in December when he posted a seemingly suicidal note to Instagram, prompting New York police to perform a “wellness check” on the “Saturday Night Live” cast member. He has since been a frequent player on “SNL” and performed a slew of sold-out stand-up shows around the country, in which he’s made light about his high-profile breakup.
An audience member mentioned Davidson’s recent troubles during a post-screening Q&A Monday, thanking the comedian for showing up and expressing well wishes.
“Oh, thank you. That means a lot,” said Davidson, who was visibly nervous but cracking jokes throughout the panel. “And now I’ll go back to just staring at the floor.”
If his “Adolescence” performance is indicative of work to come, this won’t be Davidson’s last trip to the Park City fest. In the surprisingly nuanced comedy, he plays affable college dropout Zeke, whose best friend is an impressionable 16-year-old named Mo (Griffin Gluck) who’s seven years his junior. Mo’s parents (Jon Cryer and Julia Murney) aren’t crazy about Zeke — he’s an unemployed pothead who once dated their daughter — but they also trust their son to be responsible, even if he does show up stoned to the occasional family dinner.
First-time writer/director Jason Orley describes “Adolescence” as “John Hughes behind a cloud of weed smoke,” but it’s also a deeply relatable movie about what it’s like to grow up and grow apart from the people you love most. As they spend night after night pounding beers and playing video games, Mo and Zeke start to realize they’re moving in opposite directions: While Mo is trying to get a girlfriend and graduate high school, Zeke is content just to sit on his couch and reminisce about the glory days when he “invented” themed house parties.