From Joe Swanberg, a master of the mumblecore movement, Drinking Buddies is a charming – if indulgent – anti-romcom revolving around four friends and a microbrewery.

The unconventional setting never detracts from the characters and their interrelationships, which are realised through universally strong performances. The largely improvised dialogue lends the scenes an uncomfortable realism that maintains believability even if the characters – especially Wilde’s – at times verge on the side of irritating.

Swanberg’s direction is simple yet effective, and – though the pacing occasionally flags our emotional involvement in the characters – maintains interest through to a moving, if somewhat unsatisfactory, conclusion.

A fascinating character study made on a pint-sized budget, this is no Hangover. A mature, earthy offering with a well-rounded finish that will leave a sweet aftertaste. And the film’s pretty good too.

Rating: 3/5


CAST: Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston, Jake Johnson

DIRECTOR: Joe Swanberg

WRITER: Joe Swanberg (and the cast)

SYNOPSIS: Set in the world of micro-brewing, friends Kate and Luke have a clear connection. However, as each already has a significant other their emotions have to remain bottled-up… but for how long?