Drinking Buddies is a clever independent film about 4 people who each seem to be with the wrong partners. The plot revolves around people work at a small craft brewery. It is nice for a change to have a film where the characters are not cops, doctors or lawyers. They are real people with real issues, that need to be solved without car chases, gunfights or dramatic court scenes.
Kate (Olivia Wilde) works at Revolution Brewing with her best friend Luke (Jake Johnson). There is no romantic connection, but they love playing practical jokes on each other and telling silly jokes at lunchtime. Every night Kate and Luke go out with the rest of the workers for drinks and food. In fact, Revolution Brewing seems like the kind of place we would all love to work.
Kate and Luke both have full time partners. Luke lives with Jill (Anna Kendrick), who is a Special Education teacher with a masters degree. She is very different than Kate. Jill is shy and introverted, whereas Kate is outgoing to the extreme. Jill never really gets cray while Kate loves beer perhaps a little too much.
Kate’s boyfriend is Chris (Ron Livingston), an intellectual who loves books, nature and hiking. He invites Jill and Luke to spend a weekend with he and Kate at his beautiful cabin in the woods. Don’t worry, Drinking Buddies does not suddenly turn into a horror movie. No killer in a Halloween mask suddenly comes out of the lake. However,it does become obvious that the matching of the couples seems wrong. Jill and Chris want to spend the time hiking and enjoying nature while Kate and Luke are happy to spend all their time drinking beer, staying indoors playing board games and telling stupid jokes.
A badly written movie would have them all simply switch partners at the cabin, but real life is more complicated than that. Drinking Buddies takes a realistic approach. The weekend ends with relationships supposedly unchanged. However, you can tell that the encounter has altered forever the way they all think about each other.
We will not spoil the plot by going any further, other than to say that the ending is beautiful and satisfying.
Some people might find Drinking Buddies too slow-moving. There never is a real action scene. If you are expecting a Hollywood blockbuster type of plot then Drinking Buddies is not for you. However, if you love independent films where the characters are real, then we hope you enjoy Drinking Buddies as much as we did.
- We rate Drinking Buddies Four Stars ****
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