Drinking Buddies

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WHAT A COOL MOVIE. I liked this movie. This movie was good. I liked this movie.

Let’s unpack.

In a sea of formulaic romantic comedies/high school comedy romances/whatever the fuck other movies people make about relationships between men and women, this one was a stand out.

This movie follows two “friends” Kate and Luke (Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson)/(Tron and New Girl) who work at a brewery together (very hip these days) and have a very flirty/joking relationship. They are both in relationships with other people who have very different interests than they do. After a few introductions, the two couples end up going on  a weekend away together at someone’s house in the woods. Everyone has a grand ole time, especially the significant others of Kate and Luke who go on a hike in the woods and end up kissing.

After this weekend, Kate’s boyfriend tells her he “doesn’t think it’s going to work out” and breaks up with her. We don’t see the break up but it seems like he does not disclose this kiss development. She is fine, and goes out drinking with everyone from work and ends up hooking up with Dave (some random from work) but then later goes to Chris’ (her ex/Ron Livingston/Berger from SATC) apartment and when he’s still firm on them not being together, that’s when she gets sad.

Meanwhile Luke is happy with Jill (his girlfriend/Anna Kendrick) but he also seems upset about the Dave thing, and that night tried to give Kate a ride home and they had a cuddly moment when they were drinking a beer together. First compliment I’m going to give to the movie: I liked that people who flirted with other people were also happy in their relationships. You can be attracted to two kinds of people and just because someone in a relationship has chemistry with you doesn’t mean they’re not happy with their person. I just think a lot of narratives fall into this “I’m a funny cool girl and we have fun together so I’m sure his girlfriend is a real dumb boring idiot.” Think the Taylor Swift line of reasoning, as seen in every song.

K then this thing happens where Jill decides she is going to Costa Rica after all (we didn’t know she was thinking about it, but she tells Luke she changed her mind and she is going) but it seems fishy because this is pretty soon after he tells her Chris and Kate broke up.

Oh! That’s another thing I liked- the initiation of the cheating. Anna Kendrick & Ron Livingston go on this hike and they’ve been talking about intellectual stuff and writers and they have this wine & cheese picnic and they’re sitting in silence and she goes, “My heart’s beating really fast all of a sudden, but maybe that’s just me” and she says something like that two more times, never making eye contact, always pretty ambiguous, “I don’t know I got really nervous all of a sudden, it’s probably just me” and after a few minutes he leans in and they kiss and he says, “Did that help?” I liked this initiation because in my experience hook up initiations are the most awkward, random, weird, unexpected things in the history of anything, and it’s so dumb how in movies people just seem to know they’re going to make out, like it’s inevitable. I mean sometimes that does happen, but most times people are just trying to sift through their insecurities and own bullshit and figure out if they’re making the whole thing up in their minds and if the other person is ever going to speak to them again if they try to kiss them. So I liked that this actually acknowledged A. the non-commitance with which kissing usually takes place and B. the reality that two people in relationships aren’t going to have a passionate make out sesh the first time they kiss, they’re both probably struggling with that decision a lot.

Another thing I like about this movie is it left a lot up to the viewer to decide. So after this kiss in the woods, we never see Jill and Luke together again. We hear from Jill that he stopped by the Farmer’s Market to give her a book but only after Luke asks about where she got the book. So we don’t know how much contact they have after, if they had an affair or if it ended right there. We don’t even know if she really went to Costa Rica or if they were on a trip somewhere (as I suspect). She came home early from the trip and was crying. Who comes home early from Costa Rica? Nobody. I mean somebody probably, but that’s why I like it! We don’t know! We have to figure out if we trust Jill/what we think she would do.

Spoiler Alert: I also really like that Luke and Kate never end up hooking up. They do many intimate and romantic things-build a fire on the beach and stay up talking, fall asleep together, go out to dinner, drink together, (BTW this movie is to beer drinking what The Sopranos was to eating pasta. I’m talking every other scene) Luke helps her move, etc. etc. but they never kiss!!! I LOVED this mainly because not all flirtations are consummated/realized! And I think too often movies teach us that if someone likes you, they’ll kiss you, but that is not always the case.

They did have a tense argument about roles and who is allowed to do what but then they just go back to hanging out after some weirdness is experienced. Maybe I just related to having unfulfilled sexual chemistry (what’s up high school!) but I really respected this narrative and the way the movie portrayed human relationships.

Also Olivia Wilde is a good actress! So is Jake Johnson, even though that’s a terrible name. This is on Netflix you should watch it. Oh also a little inside joke- Jason Sudeikis, who is dating Olivia Wilde in real life, plays her boss and her character is so annoyed by him in literally every scene, lol.

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