Mumblecore filmmaker Joe Swanberg may finally have a real hit on his hands: the trailer for his latest movie, the relationship comedy Drinking Buddies, looks like a delight. If you’ve seen films like V/H/S (read Screen Rant’s review here), then you’re already familiar with Swanberg’s work; he directed the Skype-centered short for that anthology, not to mention minor indie successes like Hannah Takes the Stairs. But judging by the above clip, Drinking Buddies has Swanberg operating on a whole other level than he has with his past output, and not simply because he’s working with recognizable talents like Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston, and Anna Kendrick.
That said, their presence here will surely help win the film some mainstream visibility and turn around popular opinion on Swanberg’s craft.
Here’s the full synopsis:
DRINKING BUDDIES follows the lives of Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) who work together at a craft brewery. They have one of those friendships that feels like it could be something more. But Kate is with Chris (Ron Livingston), and Luke is with Jill (Anna Kendrick). And Jill wants to know if Luke is ready to talk about marriage. The answer to that question becomes crystal clear when Luke and Kate unexpectedly find themselves alone for a weekend.
At first blush, Drinking Buddies looks like it falls more or less in line with Swanberg’s interests as a director, focusing on the romantic connections between its central characters. That’s a common interest for a number of mumblecore movies – the aftermath of affairs – but it’s Swanberg’s cast that promises to set Drinking Buddies apart from other entries in the micro-budget filmmaking movement.
Johnson regularly steals the show from his fellow New Girl cast members, while Kendrick and even Wilde have proven their comic chops in films like 50/50 and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, respectively. Meanwhile, Livingston can claim Office Space credit, though right now he may need Drinking Buddies more than it needs him.
Most of all, the film sounds like a big step up for Swanberg, at least according to the early positive responses coming out of this year’s SXSW festival, where it debuted. We’ll see if Drinking Buddies deserves that praise this summer when it enjoys its theatrical release in the US.
Drinking Buddies arrives in theaters August 22nd, 2013.