Joe Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies is a well-constructed indie comedy drama.
Kate works at a Chicago brewery alongside Luke. The pair get on great together, joking and flirting throughout the day. The problem is that they are both in relationships…
Writer and director Joe Swanberg has fashioned a believable comedy drama with Drinking Buddies. The great thing about the story is that it is not too obvious. The film does not take the turns that the audience may think it will.
Characters in the film are well developed. The two protagonists appear authentic in their behaviours and actions. The supporting characters are also convincing.
The friendship between Kate and Luke is intricate and believable. Swanberg has not created a glossy romantic comedy. Instead, there is an authenticity to the friendships and scenarios in Drinking Buddies. The characters live down-to-earth lives, and the mundanity of their routines is a refreshing change.
Drinking Buddies is peppered with amusing lines and incidents. The dialogue feels natural rather than forced; perhaps due to the fact it was improvised rather than scripted. More serious scenes also sit well in the overall tone of Drinking Buddies. The pace that the narrative progresses allows for character development. For some viewers, this may feel a tad slow.
Olivia Wilde offers a decent performance as Kate. Jake Johnson steals the show however as the charismatic Luke. Anna Kendrick is well cast as Jill, whist Jason Sudeikis amuses in a small role.
Drinking Buddies is the kind of relationship-focussed film viewers will want to see more of.
Drinking Buddies is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2013.