Olivia Wilde is the gorgeous, earthy, uproarious Kate, the marketing and events director (and only female employee) at a artisinal brewery in Chicago. She’s one of those permanently game, bloke-ish gals, who drink and swear and party the equal of any man, all the while looking like, well, Olivia Wilde. Although Kate has a boyfriend, there are undeniable sparks with her co-worker Luke, (Jack Johnson) – an attraction that’s stifled only by the fact that Luke has a really great girlfriend. Yet in spite of the set up, “Drinking Buddies” isn’t some slick, raunchy sex comedy, and it also doesn’t it follow the obvious, well-trodden path of just about every other romcom you’ve ever seen. Instead, it’s totally fresh and totally human and totally winning. I loved it.
As I thought about how I’d review Drinking Buddies, my first reaction was “Olivia Wilde completely owned that film.” And she does. She really does. But actually, she’s fully matched by Jack Johnson, who becomes a bona fide movie star, right there, before your eyes.
I’ll make no secret of it: Pitch Perfect made me laugh like a drain from start to finish. It’s the (formulaic, post-Glee) tale of the world-weary Becca, a musical mash-up college first year, who unwillingly joins an all-girl a capella group as part of a bargain with her Dad.
But while the plot my be obvious, the exposition is just fantastic. Elizabeth Banks and Rebel Wilson are so funny, their one-liners and their timing so perfect – and they fire them out so quickly – it’s hard to know if they’re scripted or riotously ad lib. Anna Kendrick as Becca is brilliant – a winning sweetness and joy emerging from under her rock hard carapace – and I couldn’t take my eyes off Brittany Snow. Though set at the fictional Barden College, it filmed at Louisiana State University. And it would just not be fair to end without the singing. Lovely.
Produced by Elizabeth Banks (my first true love) Pitch Perfect looks like it’s one long, fabulous, funny, guilty pleasure.