Olivia Wilde breathes life into a fantasy female
Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, Fri., March 15, 2013
SXSW Film Reviews
Drinking BuddiesNarrative Spotlight, World Premiere
D: Joe Swanberg; with Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston
In Gillian Flynn's bestselling novel Gone Girl, the titular character describes the archetypal "cool girl" that every guy loves: "the Cool Girl ... adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping [and] plays video games, drinks cheap beer ... and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth ... while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot." In Drinking Buddies, written and directed by Joe Swanberg, Olivia Wilde breathes life into that fantasy female as Kate, the brewery publicist whom every man in her orbit wants to possess but doesn't quite know how to do it. Luke (a beardy Jake Johnson) comes the closest but is circumscribed by his near-marriage to Jill, played with sweet insecurity by Anna Kendrick. While the movie is funny and engaging, with its focus on the tiny interpersonal dramas of life, the tiresome reliance on lazy, misogynistic conceptions of women leaves a bitter aftertaste.
Wednesday, March 13, 9:30pm, Topfer