Glancing at the poster of this movie, the first thought that went through my head had to do with a certain drink that was made by mixing squeezed lemon, water and ENOUGH sugar. “It’s what we drink, not the beer you wave in front of our noses from the poster,” the inner grim critic said of everything, not even tasting the film beyond the title and the photo, which has little to do with it. Still, I gave up, driven by spite and an undeniable desire to watch every film Olivia Wilde stepped into. So, an hour and a half after the play button was pressed, my opinion was completely different from the one with which I set out on the feat of watching another, seemingly romantic, achievement.
The proof that it is not good to believe everything that is written on the Internet is that Drinking Buddies on iMDB is in the categories of comedy / drama / romance, which is not quite true. Namely, if you thought that in these ninety minutes you will have another wonderful-romantic, but non-life-related story waiting for you, you were wrong. I was wrong too. Joe Swanberg, although quite young, has already packed into his CV a number of films in which he mainly deals with human, mostly romantic (and sexual) relationships. While I can’t say I’m familiar with the complete opus, I admit that LOL and Kissing on the Mouth left an impression, perhaps not strong, but definitely unusual, primarily because of the very realistic portrayal of relationships as they are in real life.
The setting is as follows: Kate (Olivia Wilde) is a manager at a local brewery, where she works at Luke (Jake Johnson). The two of them are friends that each of us has. The kind of friend who verbally whispers to each other and provokes each other in a friendly way, but they are always there for each other. Friends who go to a pub after work to have a beer and play a game of billiards to get the job out of their brains. Looking at the chemistry that clearly exists between the two of them, you will wonder “why aren’t they together?” and for a reason. But after Jill (Anna Kendrick) appears in the pub, and Kate stops by Chris (Ron Livingston) for a drink, it becomes clear that the two of them, although similar, are in relationships with completely different people.
Wilde and Johnson work incredibly well in front of the camera. In addition to the fact that the script is great and that it represents the people around their thirties as they are, the main acting couple did a masterful job by breathing life into the characters from the paper. Their conversations are what you can hear and / or say, and their flirtations are like being dragged out of real life, in that “chuckle, but I don’t cross the line of complete openness” manner. There are no tearful confessions of eternal love in the rain and dramatic kisses in the middle of the bridge. In fact, the film shows a great deconstruction of a relationship that is falling apart due to the great difference between the two people. Entering a deeper analysis of the characters would turn into an amateur essay in the field of dramatic philosophy, which would not be interesting to anyone, but the fact is that Swanberg very faithfully conveyed on the screen what may have happened to some of you.
Drinking Buddies will certainly not buy you with their visual display, which, although quite solid, is in the background of the script itself. It doesn’t even carry a fantastic soundtrack, although all the songs you will hear in the film are perfectly suited to the situations that are taking place at that moment. In fact, the film will not cheer you up in a classic Roma style. It will not restore your faith in love if you have lost it, but it will show you a great male-female friendship in all its glory and with all its dark moments. After the curtain falls, you will notice that this story, like good beer, is bitter, but extremely beautiful.