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Drinking Buddies
Dec 5, 2013 By: Mathew Plale
Drinking Buddies order download
Director:
Joe Swamberg

Actors:
Jake Johnson
Olivia Wilde
Anna Kendrick

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After a few days away by the lake, two couples—Luke (Johnson) and Jill (Kendrick), and Kate (Wilde) and Chris (Ron Livingston)—discover they may not be meant for each other.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Luke (Jake Johnson) and Kate (Olivia Wilde) work together at a Chicago brewing company. He brews beer, she answers the phone. They wouldn’t normally need to interact, but they make the time. They have lunch together, joke around and grab drinks after their shifts end. They seem perfect for each other.

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.

THE EXTRAS
Commentary with writer/director Joe Swamberg, producer Andrea Roa and producer Alicia Van Couvering: The trio has a good chemistry throughout, but it’s Swamberg that has the most worthwhile comments, as he touches on the majority of topics that fans would be interested in. This is a pretty solid track with a wealth of behind-the-scenes tidbits that fans will enjoy.

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.

Theatrical Trailer

BD-Live

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Despite the talented cast of Jake Johnson, Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston, director Joe Swanberg’s latest, Drinking Buddies, is another dud in the mumblecore game, with four fairly unlikeable characters handling their unhappiness with immaturity. For fans, special features include a commentary, deleted scenes, interviews, a look at the brewery used in the movie, and more.
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