The movie Drinking Buddies made its world premiere on the SXSW stage and was met with some great ovation. The movie is about exactly what it says: "drinking buddies" — but it goes a bit deeper than that. The movie stars a perfect blend of actors that includes Olivia Wilde (that hot girl from House M.D. and a bunch of other movies), Jake Johnson (the dude who gave a forbidden kiss to Jess on The New Girl) , Anna Kendrick, (the girl we want to be our BFF) and Ron Livingston (hated him as Berger on Sex and the City, loved him in Office Space). Director Joe Swanberg gave the actors quite a feat in this dramedy that explores the blurry lines of being drinking buddies with the opposite sex — specifically Kate (Wilde) and Chris (Johnson). Like many of his other movies, it has a clear vision, but it was all improvised.
"There was no firm script" said Swanberg during a press conference after the SXSW premiere. "It was the hardest and funnest movie I've had to make."
This is probably so because the movie was told through Kate...and obviously Joe is not a woman. "If I were to write a script it would be from my point of view. This is told from a woman's point of view," said Swanberg. "I don't like like to put words in people's mouths — I like to just let them talk." By just letting Olivia Wilde "talk" there was a more genuine woman's voice in the movie because she was using her character's female instinct. In other words, she was just reacting to the situation in the way a normal woman would.
On improvising, Wilde said, "You are operating from a certain part of your brain and it's so instinctual that it just flows out and you kind of black out." One scene she mentioned in particular was during a scene at night on the beach where Kate and Chris are a little tipsy. Olivia told Joe, "I think my character would skinny dip right now." Joe said if she was comfortable doing it, then she should...and she did.
When Anna Kendrick was asked about working in the world of the non-scripted, she laughed, "I did another Swanberg movie in December, so I haven't done a scripted movie in a while."
The unbelievably talented cast and non-scripted structure of Drinking Buddies is one reason why the movie is one of the best of the fest...and Olivia Wilde skinny dipping is a good sell too.