The Mumblecore film genre is an indie film movement characterized by a low budget production featuring characters in their mid-twenties or early thirties with a focus on naturalistic dialogue. The characters in the films usually depict average adults played by unknown actors. These films are heavily based on improvisation, with many of their scripts having an outline of what is supposed to happen in the scene. Although many claim the Mumblecore movement to be dead, it might be making its way to more mainstream culture.


Drinking Buddies,” a 2013 Mumblecore film directed by Joe Swanberg, and stars Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston. The film is set in a microbrewery in Chicago, Ill. where best friends Kate (Wilde) and Luke (Johnson) work. The relationship between Kate and Luke is easy and often flirtatious, but both are in other relationships. The film revolves around the relationship between Kate and Luke, and how they deal with their obvious attraction and connection to each other. Throughout the film, we see the characters in the brewery, in their homes, in a bar, and generally ordinary places. These ordinary places help to create the authentic feel of the movie.


The movie was filmed in a real brewery in Chicago, and the beer the characters drink throughout is real beer. Like other Mumblecore films, the actors were not given a script and were encouraged to improvise and create their own scenes as much as possible, while still following an over-arcing plot line. When talking about the improvisation process director Swanberg said,

It’s really a process where everybody needs to be in the moment. They need to be listening to each other and reacting honestly and I need to be paying really close attention because there’s not a script to fall back on. The goal of doing it that way is to keep everybody engaged and create situations that feel fun and natural.

The film succeeded in creating a natural dialogue that the audience can relate to and feel comfortable with. “Drinking Buddies” is a film about friendships, relationships, break-ups, and living life in today’s world.


Have you seen “Drinking Buddies?” Are you a fan of Mumblecore? Let’s talk in the comments, or find me on Twitter @whatsthesich