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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Friday, February 14, 2014

Movie Review - Drinking Buddies

Drinking Buddies (2013)
Starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston
Directed by Joe Swanberg
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

Kate and Luke (Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson) work at a brewery together.  They're good buddies who constantly flirt with one another, yet remain only friends because they each have a significant other -- Kate's been dating Chris (Ron Livingston) for eight months, and Luke's been with Jill (Anna Kendrick) for years.  While each couple seems happy together, it's obvious that Kate and Luke have an attraction to one another and a friendship that seems destined for romance.  This connection is further explored when the two couples take a trip to Chris's cabin in the woods for a "couples weekend" and Chris and Jill also find themselves compatible with one another, leading to a quartet that is ripe for break-ups.

The problem with Drinking Buddies is that the relationships between all four of the central characters are much too obvious.  There's no subtlety present -- we know right off the bat Kate and Luke are more compatible than Kate and Chris, and it's obvious that Chris's book-smartish nature fits more with Jill's demeanor.  Since the unraveling discord of the relationships never comes as a surprise, the suspense of the story is who will take the plunge and kiss off their significant other first...and that's just not a gripping enough story as presented here, effectively making the ninety-minute runtime feel longer than it should.  While the cast tries to sell the story (with dialog that seems improvised...and that's not necessarily a good thing), the supposed comedy that is Drinking Buddies  didn't cause me to laugh much at all.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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