Director: Joe Swanberg
Stars: Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston, Jake Johnson
If you only hear the summary, Drinking Buddies sounds like just another romantic comedy. The basic premise involved Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson), who work together at the brewery and are best friends, but there’s definitely a hint that they could be something more than just friends, despite their significant others (played by Ron Livingston and Anna Kendrick, respectively). But it’s not a traditional movie in the slightest, and that is mostly because of how it was filmed. The actors weren’t given a script; instead, they worked off of general plot outlines and were told what they would be filming as they arrived on set each day. It was filmed on-location at the actual Revolution brewery in Chicago, and the actors were all actually drinking beer on set. The result is a movie focused on how these characters develop as their relationship dynamics change. It’s a testament to the strength of the four actors that they all deliver well-rounded, intriguing performances that dive deeper into their characters’ psyches than most despite the director’s improv-like style. So, yeah, it’s yet another romantic comedy, but at least it’s one that involves a lot craft beer and sex.