The only problem is, each one has a significant other: Luke has Jill (Anna Kendrick) and Kate has Chris (Ron Livingston). At a party, the four exchange pleasantries and eventually plan to spend a few day’s at Chris’ family’s house.
It’s there that the relationships are put to the test, as the couples spend more time apart than together: while Chris and Jill go hiking, Luke and Kate spend the afternoon drinking. This sequence takes up only a small portion of the movie, but it’s certainly the most revealing.
At various points in Drinking Buddies, characters cheat on one another, discover jealousy and just plain act recklessly. While it’s hard to condone certain behaviors, it’s expected here. What’s frustrating is that they tend to shy away from handling the situations (you know, unfulfilling relationships) like adults (you know, with words and emotions) and only have moments of needed honesty after the acts of immaturity.
And while we may be able to see where these characters are coming from at times, it’s very hard to like them. Whether they’re fooling around on their lovers or remaining quiet about their unhappiness, we end up wanting them all to go to separate cabins and just do some thinking.
Drinking Buddies has its share of major faults, but the cast—Johnson, Wilde, Kendrick, and Livingston—do a better job than most of the actors that director Swanberg has subjected to his pseudo-screenplays. The four leads have an exact idea of what their characters should do, even if it’s easy to disagree.
Interviews (12:54): Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston sit down for individual interviews to discuss their characters.
AXS TV: A Look at Drinking Buddies (3:15) is a brief promotional piece for the movie.
All Things Drinking with Director Joe Swanberg and “Drinking Made Easy” Host Zane Lamprey (29:38): Lamprey interviews Swanberg in a restaurant/brewery about the making of Drinking Buddies.
Behind the Scenes at Revolution Brewery (4:15): Brewmaster James Cibak offers a brief tour of the Chicago-based brewery featured in the movie.
Deleted Scenes / Outtakes (7:15): Compiled here are more than a dozen clips, all available with commentary by Swanberg.