So this week I set out with the intention to do another installment of "Buy, Watch, Wait". However, I ran into a bit of a snag. Turns out that all the movies I watched that released this week were pretty crappy and I couldn't in good conscience recommend you buy or watch any of them, and if I told you to wait, it would be forever.
First, I watched The Wolverine but when I realized that even if I could choke out a very generous 3/10 I simply couldn't say that movie was ever worth watching. Then I tried one I hadn't ever heard of but that had an all-star cast, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Ummm...words failed me here. It took two efforts for me to watch this one, as I kept falling asleep. So again with another low rating (2.5/10) I was down to my last movie, Drinking Buddies.
Finally, I had a movie that I could at least bring myself to write about. So with that, instead of "B.W.W." I bring you a simple review of the film Drinking Buddies.
WHY MESS WITH A GOOD THING?
The plot of this movie is a bit familiar, but honestly, what movie isn't nowadays? Here we have the story of two great friends, Luke and Kate (Johnson and Wilde), who work together in a brewery and who's tight friendship does a poor job of masking the tension between them for something more. Of course, they find it difficult to explore their potential romance due to the fact that they are each dating other people. Luke is with Jill (Kendrick) and Kate is with Chris (Livingston), however it's clear from the start that Kate is destined for Luke and Jill would be a better fit for Chris, or so it seems.
The film is a true indie piece. Dialogue and character exploration rule the day, and while the story is simple, it is beautifully presented. Drinking Buddies is probably the first film I've seen in a long time that is so relatable, mainly because of how real it feels. This is partly due to the story itself, but mainly due to the acting.
CHEMISTRY = CINEMA GOLD
Johnson and Wilde shine in this film. While we are used to Wilde flexing her acting prowess, Johnson steps away from his New Girl image (though not too far) and really delivers in this role. The chemistry between them is clear and they two make you feel that they've known each other for decades. As they are the centerpiece of this story, watching them on screen truly sucks you in and makes you feel you are not only watching a film, but more that you are getting some secret look into the personal lives of two people that exist in the real world. Not sure if that makes a lot of sense, but it was brilliant from the start.
While Kendrick and Livingston aren't on screen too much, they are the perfect counterpoints to the two leads. They do an amazing job of keeping the viewer torn. While it may be easy to see that Luke and Kate might belong together at first glance, when you see their "others" as portrayed by Livingston and Kendrick, you find yourself pulling for each relationship to succeed and remain intact. This keeps you always going back and forth and makes the tension in the film seem almost real to you. It's perfectly done and impressive to say the least. Again, Livingston is an old favorite of mine, but Kendrick is very quickly stepping out of the Twilight shadow and into center stage as a legit hollywood star.
Overall I thought the film was great, but then again I am a huge fan of character driven, dialogue heavy, indie films. The truth is, if you are looking for a familiar story that you can relate to and don't mind the classic "left unsaid" nature of indie films, then this one is for you. If not, you may want to tread lightly. However, with that said I thought the film was brilliant, the acting and casting was superb and I would hands down say that this film is a must watch.
I give Drinking Buddies a solid 7/10 and I can't wait to see Jake Johnson and Anna Kendrick in whatever they do next, cause they sold me on their skill in this one. This film didn't seem to be available on Xbox Video or On Demand, however you can find it at your local Redbox kiosk, and it's definitely worth the $1.27, just be sure to have a beer in hand cause they do a lot of beer drinking and it will leave you craving.
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