Tag Archives: Wilde

Better Living Through Chemistry

15 Mar

<i>Better Living Through Chemistry</i> Review

A pharmacologist who pilfers from his own stash doesn’t make for much of a story. It’s over-the-counter, flat, hypocritical and none-too-interesting. Love & Other Drugs tried to walk that (similar) line by throwing in a satirical skewering of the pharmaceutical biz with a heavy dose of amour while Better Living Through Chemistry tacks into it with a whacky rom-com skew, and as with the launch of any new panacea, the results are mixed, and some even concerning. The diagnosis of which leads directly to the writing/directing team of Geoff Moore and David Posamentier, who treat their cinematic go as an alchemy experiment, crushing in aBody Heat-styled femme fatale element along with pill-popping madness, dysfunctional youth mania and alpha female hen-pecking all blended together under a quirky Wes Anderson-like sheen.  Continue reading

Drinking Buddies

13 Sep

‘Drinking Buddies’: Smart romance shows mumblecore master ready for mainstream

By Tom Meek
September 12, 2013


What happens when your best friend and co-worker is a member of the opposite sex and you’re hopelessly attracted to them but can’t pursue anything because you’re in a long-term relationship heading toward matrimony? That’s the situation Joe Swanberg’s neo-slacker essay plumbs, and it gets even more complicated when Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) bring their significant others along for a couples getaway in the woods. In the middle of the night, after some silly drinking games, the two, who work at a Chicago micro-brewery, sneak down to the beach and forge a raging bonfire. The sexual tension’s aflame too, a veritable tinderbox of unrequited passion, needy and raw and open to that game-changing spark. You might feel sorry for their SOs, but they’re not so innocent themselves; earlier in the day, Jill (Anna Kendrick) and Chris (Ron Livingston) went out for a hike, drank some wine and after an awkward conversation about love, life and fulfillment, also rolled perilously close to the precipice of crossing over.

091313i Drinking BuddiesIf there’s one thing painfully obvious (like, “My Best Friend’s Wedding” obvious), it’s that Luke and Kate are meant to be together, but thankfully Swanberg – one of the early adaptors of mumblecore filmmaking (the lo-fi indie film movement in which production values, most notably sound, play second fiddle to the visceral and ideological elements) along with the Duplass brothers (“Puffy Chair”) and Andrew Bujalski (“Funny Ha Ha”) – is after something a bit more nuanced and un-Hollywood. For inexplicable reasons Chris leaves Kate, which further enables Kate and Luke’s hop-infused brewmance. The pair, along with other vat rats from work, spend many a late night lighting up the dingy side of Chicago, while Jill, conveniently a teacher, sits at home toiling away on art projects for her special-needs students.  Continue reading