Chris Kavan - wrote on 11/24/13
Drinking Buddies is essentially a relationship film and follows two couples: Kate (Olvia Wilde) and Chris (Ron Livingston) and Jill (Anna Kendrick) and Luke (Jake Johnson). Kate is a more free-spirited woman - the only female who works at a Chicago brewery - where Luke is one of her co-workers. Chris is a much more grounded man, interested in things like poetry and nature rather than drinking. Meanwhile Jill and Luke have had a long-term relationship that they have to decide is ready to go to the next level (which would be marriage).
While I have to say this does take a realistic approach to relationships, that also means is relies a lot on the connection between the actors. Wilde and Johnson have that good, flirty chemistry going on. When they're out with friends or just two people playing drinking games together - you get the feeling these are old friends. I don't get as much from Wilde and Livingston or Kendrick and Johnson - especially when the entire thing revolves around a single kiss.
It's not going to be the most exciting movie of the year - the characters seem a bit aimless, even when they have good intentions - but at least the heart is in the right place. Couples will probably get a lot more out of this than a life-long bachelor. It's understated but emotional - and the script seems spot-on. If you're expecting a lot of fireworks, however, you will be a bit disappointed. This moves slow, but the emotional core is there. If you want a movie that focuses on a realistic outlook to relationships, this is a great choice.
This isn't usually the type of movie I seek out but I think Kendrick and Livingston are great actors and Johnson was really the standout for me here. Wilde was also good in a much more down-to-Earth role. This type of movie flies under the radar but if you are someone who like the romantic comedy type films - I would recommend this over the more saccharine sweet (I'm looking at you Nicholas Sparks) films you usually get.