I like the idea of mumblecore movies, but I haven’t seen enough of them to really know what they’re about, other than not a whole lot. Drinking Buddies (Joe Swanberg, 2013) isn’t much of a story as much as it is a glimpse into the lives of two friends over a given few days. There’s no manufactured conflict, forced physical comedy, or expertly crafted dialogue. It’s refreshing to watch an honest movie that lets realistic events unfold naturally. Kate and Luke feel like real people. Ridiculously attractive people who seem to rarely be sober but still make it through the workday, but real people nonetheless.
One of my favorite moments was the morning after Luke (Jake Johnson) helped Kate (Olivia Wilde) clean out her apartment and she (somewhat innocently?) snuck into bed with him. When she woke up, Luke had cooked breakfast, made plans to keep helping her with the move, and offered to take her to a fancy celebratory dinner that night, on him. Even though he was already in an adorable relationship with Jill (Anna Kendrick), this scene shows how seamlessly he could transition to an easy, laid-back, and happy relationship with Kate instead. At the end of that scene, Luke kisses Kate’s forehead and leaves the room. In any Hollywood movie, the sexual tension would be on fire and Luke would come back into the kitchen after a few moments and kiss her like Nick kissed Jess on New Girl. But it doesn’t happen, because that’s not real. I won’t say how the relationships turn out because spoilers, but it’s entirely genuine and how I would expect things to play out in real life with the less-beautiful people.