IMDB Rating: 6.1
Director: Joe Swanberg
Starring: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston
Drinking Buddies Review: I’ve been highly anticipating this in the hopes that it would be this year’s Celeste & Jesse Forever and it didn’t disappoint at all: Drinking Buddies is more light-hearted and less penetrative, but has the same keen eye for relationship dynamics, sly humor, realistic characters and fantastic soundtrack. It’s the most true-to-life romantic comedy I’ve seen in years. Drinking Buddies doesn’t dig very deep into its characters. Daily interactions are shallow, jokey; the deep conversations and self-revelations only really happen at 4am by a bonfire after a few drinks. I think the film would have been much worse if it had a Katherine-Heigl-movie moment of all the characters spilling their feelings and wants and grievances to each other because that is not how life goes – at least not for these people.
Olivia Wilde is outstanding and while it’s not the powerhouse role I’ve been waiting for her to take on, it does further establish her as an impressively natural and charismatic talent simply in need of the right roles. She’s hilarious and buoyant and handles her dramatic moments – however fleeting or quiet – with expert skill. Jake Johnson was the perfect match for Wilde as they have incredible chemistry and their charming banter keeps the movie energized. Anna Kendrick basically plays herself, but she’s very good, as is Ron Livingston with a curiously enigmatic performance.
Drinking Buddies won’t appeal to everyone, because as it is so realistic, not much happens. It’s more focused on the almosts and the might-have-beens than the happeneds. But it’s so delightful, funny, observant, and coyly ambiguous, I really hope people give it a chance. Drinking Buddies is not going to revolutionize cinema or anything but it has an authenticity, spark and lively wit that the genre generally eschews in favor of saccharine clichés and melodramatic crying scenes.
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