A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Drinking Buddies centers on co-workers at a Chicago brewery who are wondering whether they should be more than "just friends," despite the fact that both are involved with other people. Unsurprisingly (considering the title), there's lots of drinking -- at work, after work, on weekends, at parties, and pretty much any other time -- frequently to the point of drunkenness. There's also plenty of swearing ("f--k," "s--t," and more), a glimpse of a naked woman before she runs into a lake to skinny dip, suggested sex, and some smoking.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson), who work together at a Chicago brewery and hang out together after work, are clearly very compatible. There's a real spark, but they're both involved with other people (Ron Livingston and Anna Kendrick, respectively). Then, when the two couples spend a weekend together at a beach cabin, everyone starts to question their relationships -- and whether they're paired with the right person.
Is it any good?
The film can be maddeningly slack at times, but it's rewarding nonetheless. Ambiguity is often the kiss of death for a movie -- that is, if it's mindless and stylized. But in DRINKING BUDDIES, ambiguity isn't just a cinematic device to prevent a filmmaker from making a commitment to a storyline; it's the thread that binds the relationships that are explored here. Kate and Luke adore each other, but they're just friends. (Friends who snuggle, anyway.) But Luke loves his girlfriend, and Kate likes her boyfriend enough ... though she also likes flirting with other guys.
One minute we feel certain about who deserves to be together, but then an exchange or interaction takes the story somewhere else, much like the way life works out in real life. Drinking Buddies is a smart, savvy questioning of male-female friendships, the ties that bind, and the loose ends that prevent outright entanglements.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the movie presents drinking. Do you think the characters drink too much? Does their behavior seem realistic/believable? Are there consequences for what they do?
Do you think Luke and Kate should get together? Why or why not? Does your answer to this question change during the course of the film?
- In theaters: August 23, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: December 3, 2013
- Cast: Anna Kendrick, Jake Johnson, Olivia Wilde, Ron Livingston
- Director: Joe Swanberg
- Studio: Magnolia Pictures
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language throughout
- Last updated: February 7, 2020
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