Overall Grade: A
Starring: Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston, Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick
Not since Safety Not Guaranteed has there been a movie so promising in my eyes. One hell of a cast, a movie about brewers, and there was no script. They knew what would happen overall from scene to scene, but the dialogue was improvised.
Seriously, this movie was really enjoyable. I spent the whole movie not really sure what was going to happen or how it would end, and I LOVE when a movie is able to keep me guessing. As long as it isn’t like The Prestige and is done intentionally to keep you guessing. The plot is captivating, the acting is fantastic, and the soundtrack is brilliant. Spoilers from here on out, so pour yourself something hoppy and sit up here at the bar with me.
The overall plot is this: Olivia Wilde and a very bearded Jake Johnson work together at a brewery. Luke (Johnson) is a brewer and Kate (Wilde) is an event coordinator. The two are great friends and have great chemistry together, and regularly spend time with each other. They are both in relationships, Kate with Chris (Livingston) and Luke with Jill (Kendrick). The four of them go to spend a chunk of time together in a beach-side cabin for a weekend. One thing leads to another, and Chris and Jill wind up kissing (in what’s a very well-done combination of scenes showing each pair spending time with each other, Chris and Jill here and Luke and Kate there, both having fun.) What I like about it is that it’s not the couple you expect to kiss.
The rest of the movie shows the characters after the trip; Chris breaks up with Kate, and Jill struggles with whether or not to tell Luke, while the friendship between Kate and Luke gets a little strained as Kate goes a bit wild(e? Get it? Because she’s played by Olivia Wilde, you see. I added an ‘e’) in coping with her new single status. We see a few great scenes where you can tell Jill wants to tell Luke about what happened but doesn’t and instead brings up if they are going to get married.
The acting here is great…a friend who was watching the movie can attest to the fact that I was going crazy that she was not telling Luke. You could see she wanted to, but changed it around instead to kind of getting on Luke’s case about his seriousness in regards to their relationship. She goes on a trip to Costa Rica with some college friends, leaving simply Luke and Kate to spend time with each other. Luke helps Kate move, and there’s a weird argument between the two where it might be implied that something happened between them. It’s hard to tell; which again is something I enjoy in a movie. When you get to discuss the potential meanings of this line or what was meant by that edit, I enjoy the movie experience so much more. There’s a lot that is implied as a possibility in this movie, and I love that it’s left out in the open, up for interpretation.
The ending to the movie is again, not what I was expecting, but so incredibly satisfying. It’s available on Netflix Instant Watch, and is 90 minutes of very enjoyable movie.
My Rating: 95