Day ninety-six: Drinking Buddies (June, 13)

My friend Joe, who is very supportive of this blog  and a promising filmmaker, told me about the movie, and asked me to avoid reading about it before seeing the film. 

So I put Drinking Buddies on the DVD player suspecting that I've already seen bits of it on cable TV. And that was true. I was familiar with two scenes, but other than that, I didn't know about the characters or the story actually. 

I've just seen it, and was curious to read about it on imdb.com. The trivia describes how it was shoot entirely by improvisation. That fact explains a lot why the movie has a natural feeling around the characters. The good acting is another factor in its favor. The cast had only the outline of each character and the story, and made a great job developing a melancholy story about love, friendship and how hard and confusing life and relationships can be. 

The process of making this movie probably was amazing. Improvisation as a method of filmmaking I particularly consider with both wonder and suspicion. I've read a thesis about how John Cassavetes chose mainly to work with an outlined script, filming mostly by improvisation, with amazing results. Its like a laboratory in filmmaking, a daring intent and one that can reach the viewer in surprising ways. 

In Drinking Buddies, the feeling was one of closeness with the story and characters, to a point that I thought I have knew them for a long time. Olivia Wilde's Kate is very familiar to me, and I would have a lot of problems being her friend, despite admiring who can be so disconnected about practical aspects. I think life is easier this way, even if a bit messier. 

An afterthought: the main scenario is a small brewery, and I really envied (I was actually green of envy) these new old friends of mine that got the opportunity to access so many kinds of brew in their working place. I suggest a nice pale ale to accompany you in this movie, if you choose to see it :)

Drinking Buddies. Directed and written by Joe Swanberg (who make a brief
cameo). With: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Linvingston.
US, 2013, 90 min., Color (DVD).

PS: Sense8, by The Wackowskis, seems amazingly good. Today I've saw the first episode. 


  1. Yey!! I'm so happy you liked it! When I was in Pre Production for my short film, back in Sydney, I was talking to a friend at work about how my story was very conversational all throughout, and how I wanted the characters to look and sound like real-life people in their interactions. Then she told me to watch this one (she also recommended Short Term 12). And I absolutely loved it! The fact that the dialogue in the film is totally unscripted plays out as an amazing feature. And they got lucky in assembling an excellent cast that were able to make up the dialogue – or 'ad lib', as they call it – to perfection. In the end, it feels just like you said, a natural group of friends, but the great thing about it is how close to them we, the audience, feel. I would love to be involved in a project like this someday, I imagine it must be an amazing experience on set.

    Also, all the brewing instantly reminded me of you :)
    What's cool is the actors actually drank a lot of the beer in the shooting, which made it even better to improvise lines, as they were tipsy in some of the scenes.

    But yea, I thought it was a great story, with lovable screwed-up characters and a good ending. I hope you understand why I told you not to look up any information on it – I bet it was fun to find out they were improvising, and nicely so.
    Maybe you should think of a movie for me to watch without knowing about it, in return. It's gotta be one that you're really positive about ;)

    And yes, Sense8 is quite the trip! Very good stuff, I'm almost done with the season.

    Good to see you going so well with your dare. Keep it up!

    [ j ]

    1. Thank you a lot! Once more and always! Your support to this dare has been amazing and very cherished.. And the movies you telling me to see has been great. I will think carefully in one movie to for you to watch :)

  2. Absolutely, my pleasure!
    Looking forward to it :)

    [ j ]