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Film Review: Drinking Buddies


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Joe Swanberg’s latest flick stars Olivia Wilde as Kate and Jake Johnson (best known as New Girl's Nick) as Luke - two colleagues who work in a brewery and who are also best friends and who, maybe, might want more…?

Don’t watch the trailer of this film, or if you do so don’t be surprised if what you see is not what you get. Firstly, this is not a clichéd rom com. If you’re not familiar with Swanberg you should know that he is a major pioneer in the mumblecore film movement - low budget movies with improvised dialogue.

The setting of this film is entirely refreshing. Set in a brewery in Chicago (although it could be any city in the USA) co-workers Kate and Luke enjoy going out for a drink or two (or eight) every so often (every night after work).

Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston play Chris and Jill, the protagonist’s other halves. A weekend away will change both couples indelibly - but don’t be fooled; you never know where the film is going; even when you think you've figured it out it changes track - so sit back and enjoy.

The fact that there’s no set script says a lot about this film. The actors work off of each other and often it appears that we are watching people who are just having normal conversations - a lot of drunken conversations to be exact.

This of course means that the dramatic element of the film is slightly lacking; what the characters discuss appears to be nonsense most of the time.

What really drives this film are the characters, who are gritty and coarse - even the gorgeous Olivia Wilde wears no make-up and swears and burps like a sailor. It is this realistic, almost anti-Hollywood aesthetic makes Drinking Buddies so different from the norm. 

Drinking Buddies is in cinemas now.

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