First off… This isn’t a shitty movie. It’s pretty fucking good. I like Olivia Wilde. She has a face like a cat. And she has this fierce sort of intelligence that I admire in a woman. I think I could be her friend.
That’s what this movie is about, ultimately. Can a man just be friends with a woman? The movie says yes, but you have to get past all the sex first, decide that you are friends, and move forward from there.
The guy from Office Space, Ron Livingston, plays Wilde’s love interest. He’s kind of a douche. And Anna Kendrick is the love interest for Jake Johnson, the guy from that very annoying sitcom starring Zooey Deschanel that will go unnamed here.
Anna Kendrick—there’s no way I’d pick her over Olivia Wilde. On the other hand, would you want to mess up a perfect friendship? Friendships like the one that Wilde and Johnson have in this movie are rare. I’ve only had a few in my life. And nothing can ruin a friendship more than sex. I once married a friend—someone I knew from work, and it fucked up both our lives. We’ll probably never speak again. We should have left it at friendship, but men and women can’t leave well enough alone. We want something more, always, and there you are, having sex with a friend, getting married, and it burns everything you once had to the ground and creates something new, something you both have to live with. Or not. I ended up walking away. I’m pretty sure my ex hates me.
I liked this movie. I’m not a fan of most of these so-called mumblecore movies. They are improvised horseshit. Nothing happens in them. But not this one. It got to me.
This movie is set in Chicago, during the summer, and I’m sitting here in the Midwest, and this has to be the shittiest, coldest, snowiest winter in a long time, so it allows me to imagine the world being warm.
The two leads, Wilde and Johnson, work in a brewery together. It’s Revolution Brewing, which is a real Chicago brewery, by the way, and they make kick-ass beer. There is a lot of beer drinking involved. I am all for beer drinking. I swilled a few during the movie.
I once had a friend who worked for me. She was intelligent, funny, a real joy to talk to. My marriage was falling apart, and she stepped forward like some sort of miracle and went from being a co-worker to being an incredible friend. She ended up moving away, and we write occasionally, but I miss her. I miss that deep connection we had. We had some epic, seven-hour-long conversations, drinking beer, trading hugs, bullshitting and not-bullshitting. She always said the right things. We got each other. I fucked it up by asking her to be my girlfriend when I knew she was moving away.
That’s what this movie gets. You gotta enjoy the friendship, and not yearn for more. To yearn for more is to yearn to fuck things up, to make your friendship into something it is not. I won’t do the spoiler thing and tell you how the movie ends. You’ll have to see it for yourself.