Have Cheetah,Will View #284 – “Drinking Buddies” (2013)

Its 6:20 pm
cold

The cheetah and I decided to dip into our indie film stash and decided to take a peek at Magnolia Film’s “Drinking Buddies” from 2013.  The fact that I’m doing a movie about drinking will strike some as humorous because I myself don’t drink. But being in a industry where I saw the results of alcohol and what it does even to the best of people,I was very interested to see where writer-director Jay Swanberg would take his story and his cast.

This is a very different film from the start,while Swanberg is credited as the “writer” of “Drinking Buddies”,he more or less just came with a framework of his story and then let his cast – Olivia Wilde,Jake Johnson,Ron Livingston and Anna Kendrick improvise their way through. Oh and drinking craft beer and lots of wine while doing it…
Kate (Wilde) and Luke (Johnson) work at a craft beer brewery company in Chicago,Luke makes beer while Kate markets it all over town by hosting tasting parties. The two have been best friends for years as they eat lunch together and even drink a few beers after work.

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Both are in relationships,Luke has been with Jill (Kendrick) for six years and she is more then ready to marry Luke and start a family but Luke keeps up finding ways to push any plans back.
Kate is with Chris (Livingston),who is a music producer and is about 15 years older then Kate. They have been seeing each other for a year. At a large event,Kate introduces Chris to Luke and Jill and out of that meeting,the two couples decide to spend a weekend together in Michigan.

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It becomes clear that Jill and Chris are more suited for each other as they have a lot more in common while Luke and Kate would rather drink and stay up all night. While Jill and Chris are on a hike that their partners didn’t want to go on,they share a kiss. But Jill loves her Luke and nothing more happens between the two. But to Chris,it signals a time for a change and after the foursome returns to Chicago,Chris dumps Kate.
While Luke is concerned for his friend,she thinks nothing of getting drunk and having a one night stand with a co-worker which makes Luke envious.
Jill decides to go see some old schoolmates for a week and that leaves Luke and Kate alone with each other as he agreed to help Kate move and it ends up with the two them in a strange position…..

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Where to even start with this movie? You have the two main characters who are well on their way to being alcoholics,one could argue that Kate is already there. It’s really hard to actually LIKE any of them as people,though I admit that I ended up liking Luke by the end of the film. Despite his wavering on marrying Jill and having two chances with Kate,Luke still has enough left in the morality tank to resist temptation but unless he quits his job,gets help and marry Jill in the near future,one isn’t so sure of the third time and based on Kate’s antics,there will be a third time as she cares only about herself.

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As for Swanberg’s choice to let his cast just go with the flow….while inspired,there are plenty of painfully awkward exchanges among the cast and that includes Kate and Luke who have been friends for years. The dialogue comes across as clunky and uneven and quite honestly,maybe not letting your cast drink during every scene might have helped some.
All in all,”Drinking Buddies” was a miss for us and we gave it two thumbs/4 paws down.
“Drinking Buddies” has a run time of 90 minutes and is rated “R”. Special features are pretty well done with director’s commentary and cast interviews included.

Have you seen this film? If so,drop a comment below and let us know what you thought of it.

6 thoughts on “Have Cheetah,Will View #284 – “Drinking Buddies” (2013)

  1. This sounds like a sort of typical drama with somewhat clueless characters who I’d probably end up annoyed with more than anything. You said you only more or less liked Luke. Pass. Maybe if I was 25 again! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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