06th Nov2013

Drinking Buddies – Film

by timbaros

images-17Sometimes when you go see a film that you know very little about and don’t know what to expect, it usually lets you down. But in the case of the new film Drinking Buddies, the opposite is true. It is a delightful movie.

Directed and written by American independent filmmaker and actor Joe Swanberg, Drinking Buddies revolves around the life of Kate (a charming and beautiful Olivia Wilde). This includes her work life at a Chicago brewery company and the relationships she has with her co-workers, including a very close one with Luke (a very good and natural Jake Johnson). Kate and Luke have great chemistry between them. It could sexual chemistry, a will they or won’t they scenario, or it could be that their chemistry makes them as close as brother and sister. They spend lots of time together, at work, and more time after work, spent drinking (what else) beer.

Kate does have a boyfriend, Chris (the good looking Ron Livingston), a finance type clean cut kind of guy with a good job and a nice home, who leads a more structured life, opposite to the free spirited Kate. Luke is also in a relationship, with Jill (Anna Kendrick), a relationship that is heading towards marriage. But it appears that Kate and Luke make the better pair, they have a good time at work together, enjoy each other’s company, and make each laugh. They are very compatible and very close that they seem perfect for each other. When both couples go away on a weekend trip to a cabin in the mountains, and when Jill and Chris find themselves kissing after taking a hike together, will both couple’s relationships survive the weekend?

Swanberg has directed and written such a simple, believable film about a woman who doesn’t realize how beautiful she is, and who is happy with whatever life has in store for her, in this small but very charming film. Wilde (who was last seen on the big screen in Rush and who was on television’s long running show House) makes the movie her own. Her girl next door attitude and warm personality makes for a great lead character. Jake Johnson as Luke is the male version of Kate. He also is simple, happy, very loveable with his unshaven beard and pouchy stomach. Kendrick and Livingstone are also both very good in their roles as the other halves. Drinking Buddies is an excellent effort from Swanberg, whose previous features have been unrecognized and unnoticed. Drinking Buddies will put Swanberg on the map of directors/screenwriters to look out for. Well done Joe.

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