Davidson has never really found his wheelhouse as an SNL performer. He's a stand-up, not a sketch comedian, so he feels out of place when asked to blend into a scene and is often prone to fits of giggles. He's more assured when doing desk segments on "Weekend Update," but even there his riffs can feel a little unfocused, and he can look uncomfortable on screen. His best character, arguably, is the monosyllabic pool boy Chad, with his dazed-bro inflections, and there's some elements of Chad on display in Big Time Adolescence.
So Davidson isn't really stretching as Zeke, but he's still captivating on screen in a way he's never been before. (Case in point: His out-of-place turn in Netflix's Set It Up.) That's in part thanks to Orley's direction, which is moody and artful in unexpected ways. Admirably, Orley aims for the poignant ending rather than the upbeat one, even while occasionally hitting some wearisome beats along the way.
In a thread bookending the film, Zeke talks about how he'd like to be an actor and shows off his skills. They're good! Sort of like Davidson's. But just as Zeke is unable to break out of his bubble, it's unclear if Davidson ever will. His next project isn't much of a stretch either: He'll be starring in an autobiographical comedy directed by Judd Apatow. Even without that personal element, Zeke is so perfectly attuned to Davidson's strengths that it's hard to imagine him doing any other role as well. I mean, Zeke even has a tattoo of Hillary Clinton -- just like Davidson.