Drinking Buddies Review

Drinking Buddies

The moment you know, you know you know.

Not my words of course, I wouldn’t dream of writing such a ham-fisted attempt at describing that indescribable feeling you get when you meet someone so impossibly compatible with you.

But then I’m not David Bowie, and The Thin White Duke has earned way more slack than I ever will.

Even if he’s been taking extreme liberties with said slack for decades now.

But Luke and Kate know that they’re perfect for each other.

They just have that thing inside of them that the other has been searching for to make them feel like they can stop looking.

Only problem is Luke’s talking about getting married to his college sweetheart of six years, and Kate’s looking to get serious with her boyfriend of ten months.

Luke and Kate are just really good drinking buddies in writer and director Joe Swanberg’s film, ah, Drinking Buddies.

Luke and Kate work in a craft brewery, which is how they got to drinking with each other, but their easy chemistry is starting to loom over their actual relationships.

It’s not as if either of their respective partners aren’t great, they are.

And said partners come to the same conclusion about each other during a horribly judged weekend retreat the couples go on, with obviously awkwardly consequences for everyone concerned.

But will this mismatched foursome open their eyes long enough to see what’s right in front of them, or just carry on drifting along with pretty decent lives they’ve stumbled upon.

Drinking Buddies is one of those sweet, indie comedies where nothing much really happens.

And yet, in that shambling way these films tend to have, it manages to say so much more than most other movies you could watch.

Drinking Buddies

That’s partly because of the highly identifiable performances from the likable actors assembled, with Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson excelling in the easy chemistry they share as Kate and Luke.

But mostly, Swanberg’s script hits that romantic nail right on the head without ever trying to be something it’s not; unlike the two on screen couplings we have that perfectly embody relationships where the people involved have grown apart from each other.

Or, more likely, they were never really right for each other in the first place.

I guess most folk feel like they need to be with someone, to be someone.

This feeling is more common when you’re young and don’t quite know who you are yet, or what you’re supposed to do with your life.

Which is my very own, ham-fisted way of trying to distil Drinking Buddies.

Only problem being, I haven’t earned anything like the slack the artist formerly known as Ziggy has.

Jonathan Campbell

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October 2013
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