Romantic comedies have certainly been given a bad name. Over the years, they have fallen more into a formulaic pattern, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy tries to win girl back. Despite the fact that almost the same plot line is recycled on almost every occasion for every rom-com, these films still do excessively well at the box office, even if they are mauled by the critics.
However, recently, we have begun to see a change in the genre, they have become a little bit quirkier, slightly more intelligent with a lot better scripts. Take Enough Said from just a couple of weeks ago, yes still your boy meets girl story but you will most certainly care about the characters a little bit more.
Drinking Buddies most certainly falls into the latter bracket, in fact you could nearly go so far as to say there is nothing funny about this film at all, it is entirely too realistic.
The plot mainly revolves around Olivia Wilde’s character Kate, one half of a best friend duo with Luke played by Jake Johnson. Kate and Luke work together, hang out together and drink together quite a bit, partially because they like beer, partially due to the fact that the pair work in a brewery together.
You would be forgiven for thinking that Kate and Luke are actually on couple on first meeting the pair, but they are both involved with different partners, Luke with his girlfriend Jill (Kendrick) and Kate with her boyfriend Chris. However, with the involvement of alcohol and with some unsure of where they stand in relationships, everything becomes a little more complicated.
Olivia Wilde hasn’t really had the opportunity to exercise her acting experience in the past, she has mostly played support characters, occasionally in action films or has worked in the past in TV series House. Here she really shines as the friend who is quite obviously head over heels in love with her best friend but unable to do anything about it. She manages to convey this throughout scenes of almost entire awkwardness and yet still be completely charming.
The support cast is excellent as well, Kendrick as Jill doesn’t have much to do here really and unfortunately due to her relationship with Luke, you nearly would prefer her to be out of the picture. Livingston as Chris again plays the guy that women love to hate, it seems he will never get away from that Berger stereotype.
Yes, the script is heavy on the dialogue and you may actually feel like not a lot happens here but it is certainly one of the more realistic rom-coms to hit the big screen and really makes you feel for the characters, mainly Kate. There are times when you will want to crawl out of your own skin due to the level of awkward the script creates and it really explores the issue of how much alcohol is deemed to be fine in someone’s life, Kate is almost never without a glass of beer or a hangover.
Definitely one to check out, Drinking Buddies is one of the nicer films from this year.