Still from Drinking Buddies (2013).

Leave it to Joe Swanberg to twist what looks like a plotless debacle of existential jetlag on paper, into a swirling, colorfully entertaining character adventure which pokes merciless fun at our idiosyncratic ways of living within friendships, loving, getting together and then promptly going off in opposite directions.

I’d been watching a series of films that had nothing in common in terms of theme, plot, the cast, or time. But they were similar in the way they made me feel when they ended. This bubbling mixture of bittersweet acceptance: understanding that not everything is going to be okay, but that’s okay. It was only when I started watching Swanberg’s films, Drinking Buddies in particular, that I stormed into the Sprawl (Gibson fans, unite!) for some answers.

Mumblecore, they call it. It is now my favorite subgenre within the broad category of drama.


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