8) Drinking Buddies [7.5]

Luke and Kate are co-workers at a Chicago brewery, where they spend their days drinking and flirting. They’re perfect for each other, except that they’re both in relationships. Luke is in the midst of marriage talks with his girlfriend of six years, Kate is playing it cool with her music producer boyfriend Chris. But you know what makes the line between “friends” and “more than friends” really blurry? Beer. (2013)

Drinking Buddies is another Joe Swansberg improv-filled film that strives for natural dialogue. In that respect, Drinking Buddies does very well. It’s easy to picture these co-workers genuinely being friends with each other, and the dialogue works across the board. That being said, you either have to accept that in his movies not much is going to happen or you’ll never enjoy them whatsoever.

Thankfully, Swansberg gets what could’ve been an easily anticipated beat out of the way early and the movie is able to spend its running time taking an interesting look at attraction and relationships. The performances across the board are great–Anna Kendricks, Ron Livingston, Jake Johnson and Olivia Wilde are all charming without being cloying. Drinking Buddies makes me want to revisit some of Swansberg’s other films and give them a second chance.

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