Drinking Buddies (2013) Film Review


Luke (Jake Johnson) and Kate (Olivia Wilde) work together at a brewery. They hang out a lot and are best mates. It is unspoken that there is the potential for much more there, but both are in relationships. Kate’s boyfriend is the upright and almost boring Chris (Ron Livingston) and Luke’s girlfriend is the chirpy Jill (Anna Kendrick). And then… nothing happens.

I’m not saying this is a bad film; just a bit, you know, dull. Like so many films that were part of the MIFF 2013 selection, nothing much happened. Director Joe Swanberg works using only a basic outline and letting the actors improvise the specifics of the scenes, and I think this can be an extremely effective way of working; provided the final product is well-edited. Instead, most scenes were long and rambling which meant that any great scenes were lost in the mix. There definitely was the sense that there was a good film struggling to get out; but it just couldn’t break free.