In case the title of this post didn't make it clear, Drinking Buddies was one of our favorite films from this year's SXSW Film Festival. This week Joe Swanberg's beautifully acted, deceptively insightful film about the romantic and platonic entanglements of two couples (Olivia Wilde, Ron Livingston, Jake Johnson and Anna Kendrick) hit iTunes and Amazon and most other regular VOD providers, so you should, ya know, totally go rent it and stuff. It's really good, we promise.
But in case those few sentences aren't enough to sell you, here's a recap from our review following the film's world premiere:
This is a movie that's less about what any two characters say to one another and more about how close they are to one another when they say it. Drinking Buddies knows its way around human intimacy better than most movies can ever dream of; it knows the value of personal space, what it means when one person invites another in, and what it means when it's violated. It's a deceptively insightful film about the sanctity of commitment, what constitutes a truly innocent relationship, and how people take emotional ownership over one another without consciously realizing it.
All of that makes Drinking Buddies sound like a far heavier film than it really is, though. This isn't some dark, gritty indie about ruined lives. The title might imply that it's about alcoholism and addiction, but it isn't. It's not about having an affair or even about lusting after your coworkers. Drinking Buddies is about perspective and how two friends who are perhaps too close to one another can lose it. It's smart, funny, charismatic and, above all, resonant.
Seriously, please go check it out. Drinking Buddies may not be what you expect from the people involved or the plot description. It's not a typical indie, film-festival movie that gets heavy and gritty just because that's what's in these days, nor is it a typical romantic comedy where all the puzzle pieces fall into their cute, predestined places. It's a funny, expertly calculated look at blurred lines, and we can't recommend it enough.