Drinking Buddies Movie Review

Small and earthy, this low-key drama simply follows a group of 30-ish characters as they use their friends to sort out their own issues. It's nicely played with a raw openness, although filmmaker Swanberg has a tendency to overdramatise scenes to make a point rather than letting things play out organically. Even so, it's sometimes painfully easy to identify with these flawed people.

The story is set around a small Chicago brewery, where Kate (Wilde) works in the office then hangs out after hours with the guys who make the beer. So she's often late arriving home to her music producer boyfriend Chris (Livingston). For a weekend away, Kate and Chris are joined by Kate's work buddy Luke (Johnson) and his girlfriend Jill (Kendrick). But as they hike in the countryside and hang out together, attraction springs up in all the wrong places. Back home, Kate and Chris decide to separate, while Jill heads off on a long-planned holiday on her own. And as Luke helps Kate put her life back together, their flirtation comes to a head.

In fine mumblecore style, this film meanders through its scenes focussing on conversations while skipping over some key moments that might have helped us understand things more clearly. It feels more like a slice of life than a plot-driven story, even though we can see early on that Kate and Luke are on a potentially messy collision course. Fortunately, both Wilde and Johnson bring offhanded honesty to their roles, creating realistically awkward interaction that bristles with possibilities. These are people at a specific point in life where they feel the need to settle down even as they're still exploring their options.

Oddly for a film set around a brewery, Swanberg continually hints that the characters' alcohol consumption is causing most of their problems, even though we never see them drunk. And there's also a moralistic tone to their relationships, as the key transgression is a stolen kiss and anything else is left ambiguously off-screen. This makes the film feel almost like Swanberg's penance for a bad decision he once made, as if he's still trying to work out what he should have done. On the other hand, movie characters are much more engaging when they make mistakes.

Rich Cline

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : Paul Bernon, Andrea Roa, Sam Slater, , Alicia Van Couvering

Starring : , , , , , , Mike Brune, Frank V. Ross


Drinking Buddies Rating

" Good "

Rating: 15, 2013


More Olivia Wilde

Here's Why Olivia Wilde Breastfeeding In Glamour Helps Prove A Big, Fat, Feminist Point

Things that qualify Olivia Wilde to be a spokesperson for breastfeeding:A. She is a feminist.B. She owns breasts.C. She has a baby, whichD. she breastfeeds.The...

Olivia Wilde Photographed Breastfeeding Son Otis For Glamour's September Issue

Olivia Wilde is proud to be a new mother and she wasn't afraid to show this off in a recent photo-shoot for Glamour's September issue....

Rihanna Bares (Nearly) All In Sheer Dress At 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards - Part 2

Rihanna stole the show at the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards in a sparkling mesh dressunder which her modesty was preserved solely by a G-string. She...

'Third Person': Check Out The Trailer For Paul Haggis' "Russian Doll" Drama

The release of Paul Haggis' unique new drama, Third Person, is looming and fans can finally check out the trailer for the movie that had...


Third Person Trailer

Love is never uncomplicated and when a third person gets involved, it can make things even more difficult. Michael is an award-winning novelist who has...

Olivia Wilde And Jason Sudeikis Welcome Baby Otis Into The World

Babies, babies everywhere! The latest addition to the Hollywood brood is little Otis, the newborn son of powerhouse couple Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis. The...

Olivia Wilde And Fiancé Jason Sudeikis Welcome Baby Boy, Otis Alexander Sudeikis

Olivia Wilde has given birth to a healthy baby boy.The 30 year-old actress welcomed her newborn, with fiancé Jason Sudeikis, on Wednesday (April 23rd).The acting...

Olivia Wilde Claims Her Baby Bump Is A "Badge of Honor"

Olivia Wilde is only a month away from giving birth to her first child with Husband Jason Sudeikis, and she has plenty to say about...