Below is our review for Drinking Buddies, but before you move to read that we wanted to let you know we are back! We’ve been on an unannounced hiatus working on organizing the podcast and planning for the future. Tomorrow we are releasing our Drinking Buddies podcast and starting next week we will be releasing our new podcast: The Space Jam Minute. Each week we will release a 7-13 minute podcast talking about Space Jam minute by minute. Get excited! Okay now to the Drinking Buddies review:
How close is too close for a co-ed friendship full of massages, bon fires, skinny-dipping, and sleepovers? Drinking Buddies is a movie with a simple, beautiful story, and an adlibbed script. The result, therefore is not overly complex, but rather contains a message that everyone can connect with; friendships can be complicated. Drinking Buddies is a story of loyalty, struggle, love, and is one of the most realistic movies that I have seen in a long time. This film follows two close co-workers, Kate played by Olivia Wilde, and Luke played by Jake Johnson. While their identical personalities create a wonderful co-ed friendship, it is nonetheless complicated. This humorous romantic, tension-driven drama places the audience on edge with emotional attachment and characters so alike that it leaves you to wonder an age-old question; why won’t they just get together already? Within the first ten minutes, the question, to a degree, is answered. The movie introduces to us the two main sub-characters, Jill and Chris, played by Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston, respectively. Jill is Luke’s girlfriend, and has been for many years. Chris is Kate’s “boyfriend,” but you soon find out that this is nothing more than a surface-level fling. This beautiful setup is what has the audience right on the cusp throughout the length of the film, anxiously waiting to see if the relationships change and new ones begin.
Aside from the acting, the visual cues are what make this movie play so well. As I said before, the script is only loosely outlined, and thus it is not so much the spoken word that is important, but rather what is shown via facial expression and body language. Each actor’s performance, expressing emotion through their eyes, their facial movement, their subtle touching, and their body language is exquisite enough to almost drive the story forward on their own, without having to say much at all. These subtitles keep your attention drawn to the tension that rises and falls between the characters throughout the film. Within the film, just as in real life, the body language used among characters can be interpreted in different ways, occasionally causing your head to spin with confusion as to what is going to happen and when. It simulates an experience that almost everyone has shared; the muddled overthinking that a person does when they begin to fall for someone. After you get their attention, you engage in a challenge with them to see if you can decipher each other’s thought processes and uncover any feelings that might be shared.
Besides showing the complexity of human nature, this movie has you questioning with whom you should end up in your own life. Should it be with someone similar to you, on a hope that this will make the relationship easier? Or should it be with someone you value as different, and capable to challenge the way that you think? It also forces you to contemplate how close is too close for a co-ed friendship, and whether that closeness should be the starting point of a relationship or not. Nonetheless, Drinking Buddies is well designed, well executed, and has a killer soundtrack that you will undoubtedly listen to for months on end. I hope this goes without saying, but I applaud the entire cast as well as writer/director Joe Swanberg for their willingness to innovate. Now, sit back, have a drink, and go enjoy the simple complexity that is Drinking Buddies.
Written review by Tucker Campbell