With a title like Drinking Buddies, the premise for this movie is wonderfully apt. Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson), two buddies who like to drink, go away for the weekend with their significant others. During their time away, lines are blurred and what results is a trope breaking homage to the romantic comedy genre.
Written and directed by Joe Swanberg (V/H/S), this film attempts to combine the awkwardness of love with the spontaneity of friendship. It succeeds. By throwing the cast (Wilde, Johnson, Kendrick, and Livingston) in front of a camera without a script, Swanberg manages to produce a level of genuineness that probably couldn’t be reached with a structured screenplay. Simply put, Drinking Buddies is a refreshing change from the generic romantic comedy narrative we know and kind of love.
Its low-fi tone conveys to its audience a sense of intimacy and truth — a truth most films of this calibre don’t manage to achieve. We know these characters and, yet, what we know is challenged through unexpected breaks in the natural order of things. Like real life we improvise; we stumble; we live in a general haze of ambiguity. In Drinking Buddies, we get the same and what’s reflected in it is us; our life; our general haze of ambiguity.
I really enjoyed this movie and if you’re keen to watch an honest tale about friendship, love, loss, and beer, this one’s for you.
I give it 4 beers out of 5.