Drinking Buddies Directed by: Joe Swanberg Starring: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick Rating: R Release Date: August 23, 2013 (VOD July 25)
Trailer Score: 7/10
Thoughts by TSR: Basically the only thing Drinking Buddies has going for it is its tremendous (and tremendously likable) cast. Now, saying the cast is all it has going for it sounds like a slight, but it's not much of one in this case. While the trailer doesn't necessarily make the story of attractive boozy people in and out of love seem fresh, putting these actors in the roles makes me interested. Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, and Jake Johnson (don't forget his work on "New Girl," Emmy voters!) are three performers I'm happy to watch in pretty much anything, and if they weren't involved I'd likely see no reason to give this film the time of day. Ron Livingston is good too, mind, it's just that Office Space was quite a while ago.
I don't believe I've ever seen anything by writer/director Joe Swanberg, so I'm not sure whether his particular sensibilities should be expected to bring anything new to this kind of story. The trailer is pretty by the numbers, though I do like a lot of the individual pieces seen here. Wilde and gloriously bearded Johnson have some fantastic chemistry, so the scenes where they are just hanging out should work wonders. Some of the stuff in the final third – especially Wilde taking her top off to swim in front of/with Johnson and most of the Livingston/Wilde stuff – feels generic, though perhaps Swanberg and his cast will elevate it once it's seen in context. I wouldn't say I'm excited for Drinking Buddies to come out, but as a VOD option it does hold some appeal.