It sounds, based on the title, like the sort of post-American Pie gross-out film you’d expect to have loads of crass comedy, leering at exposed flesh and central characters you find fun to laugh at but have precious little empathy for. Drinking Buddies is, however, nothing of the sort. Leaving the gross-out humour at the door, it’s a carefully observed rom-com drama about life, love and liquor.
Jake Johnson’s (TV’s New Girl) Luke and Olivia Wilde’s Kate are colleagues at a Chicago brewery, best mates and yet also both in relationships with other people despite their close affections for one another. Will they get together? Should they get together? Have they missed the timing that would have been right for them to get together in the first place?Another entry in the mumblecore movement that favours natural lighting, performances and improvisation, Joe Swanberg’s film meanders through its characters’ lives, allowing us to spend time with them, observe them, their habits and their frailties, and it’s an involving journey. Luke’s looking at marriage to Anna Kendrick’s sensible partner, Kate is attached to Ron Livingston’s wine drinker, with the foursome in a mess of misplaced emotions, fading trust, and second guesses. The performances are all top-notch, and the star-wattage lifts this aboveother mumble-y movies towards the mainstreams.
15 | 93 mins
On general release November 1st