Friday, September 6, 2013

Drinking Buddies [2013]

MPAA (R) (1 Star)  AVClub (B)  Fr. Dennis (3 Stars)

IMDb listing (O. Henderson) review
AVClub (B. Kenigsberg) review

Drinking Buddies [2013] (written and directed by Joe Swanberg) is a current/arguably insightful if rather slow-moving "indie piece" about two 20-something couples in which one from each of the two couples, Kate (played by Olivia Wilde) and Luke (played by Jake Johnson), work in a microbrewery in Chicago.  The film is currently playing at "art theaters" here in Chicago and is also available Amazon Instant Video.  Since the beverages made at the brewery where the two main characters work are available as something a perk to the employees, the title for the film "flows" quite naturally ...

When one generally thinks of "drinking buddies," one generally thinks of a group of guys.  The wrinkle thrown into this film is, of course, that Kate and Luke are not of the same sex and neither are their SOs.  Kate has been going out with Chris (played by Ron Livingston) for about 8 months, while Luke has been living with Jill (played by Anne Kendrick) for long enough that it's become increasingly difficult for the two to explain to both themselves/each other and to others why they're not yet getting married.  And yet it doesn't seem that they are ...

Things take a turn when the two couples go up to Kate's beau's cabin by the Lake (Michigan) for a weekend, where the status of pretty much all the relationships -- "just friends," "living together/practically married," "gee who's that neat other person who I've never really met" -- is challenged.

It's not a bad movie.  It reminds me of the movie that the Kevin Bacon character in the Christopher Guest movie The Big Picture [1989] pined to make.  It's just kinda slow. 

And it does ask the question: Can one really be just a "drinking buddy" with someone who one's at least partly (sexually) attracted to?

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