Drinking Buddies

Drinking Buddies
Directed by Joe Swanberg
Starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston

by Joanna Orland

Drinking Buddies is a smart and realistic portrayal of relationships and their complexities.  Director Joe Swanberg is credited as writer, but when discussing the film’s script, he’s admitted to never having before written one and heavily relying on improvisation for all of his films, including Drinking Buddies.  The improvisation in this film is a work of art as it leads to some very honest explorations of romantic dynamics.

Olivia Wilde plays Kate.  Kate works in a microbrewery with Luke (Jake Johnson) and they spend their days drinking beer and flirting.  Kate is dating Chris (Ron Livingston) and Luke is in a longterm relationship with Jill (Anna Kendrick).  Complications occur with every dynamic and it is a true joy and engaging experience to watch it all unfold.  The naturalistic and improvised dialogue allows the actors to discover their characters alongside the audience.  With full control of their dialogue, they truly become Kate, Luke, Chris and Jill with each of these actors giving their best performance to date.

While the marketing for Drinking Buddies may give it the appearance of a standard rom-com, the reality of it is that it is absolutely not.  It is something much more and should be heralded for what it doesn’t say, as much for what it does.

Our BFI London Film Festival red carpet interviews with Anna & Joe:

Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick about improvising her character in Drinking Buddies.

Joe Swanberg

Joe Swanberg being awesome.

2 Responses to “Drinking Buddies”

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