With a cast including Anna Kendrick, Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, and Ron Livingston, it was only a matter of time before Joe Swanberg’s largely improvised comedy Drinking Buddies would get a distributor. After premiering at the SXSW Film Festival, Magnolia Pictures announced that it had acquired the North American rights to the film. It’s expected to hit theaters later this year.
Set in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, Drinking Buddies tells the story of a pair of brewery (Wilde and Johnson) employees who flirt their way from friendship to…something else. Innocent enough, until you realize that both are in relationships. Kendrick and Livingston play the poor fools who can’t compete with craft beer-induced love.
“Joe Swanberg has been evolving steadily as a filmmaker, and with Drinking Buddies, he’s delivered his best work yet—a truly funny, smart and insightful film about real adult relationships,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles in the press release announcing the news. “Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson and the rest of the cast also deliver some of the best work of their careers. We’re raising an imperial pint in celebration.”
Swanberg is known for independent films such as Hannah Takes the Stairs (with Greta Gerwig and Mark Duplass) — also based in Chicago — but Drinking Buddies is his highest profile film yet, largely due to its established stars. Shot by Beasts of the Southern Wild cinematographer Ben Richardson, the comedy also has a has a cleaner look than previous Swanberg films. “I had an amazing time working with the Magnolia family on V/H/S and I can’t wait to be their drinking buddy again. I just know they will do great things with the film,” Swanberg said in the release.
We just hope they provide a few craft beer recommendations for Drinking Buddies viewing parties.