Pull up a chair, crack open a beer and watch #drinkingbuddies #LFF #LondonFilmFestival #Filmreview

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 09.14.35Drinking Buddies is set in and around the working and running of a brewery, where Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) are co-workers. She’s in a relationship with a wealthy older man (Ron Livingston) and his fiancé (Anna Kendrick) is keen to get their wedding plans moving along. Their friendship is very strong and they have a lot of similar interests, such as the beer they produce and they both share similar playful senses of humour. Their lifestyles revolve around drinking with their co-workers, and for the audience its hard to know whether or not what they share is friendship or something that little bit more.  Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 09.15.06

The film is directed and produced by Joe Swanberg and is an honest and real depiction of friendships and relationships amongst late twenty-somethings. There is sexual tension, tomboyish playfulness and blurred lines around the line drawn between men and women who just enjoy each other’s company. The drama you witness within Drinking Buddies feels real and void of any “film like” over- dramatization; no dramatic realization that one person is with the wrong partner, and no overly thought out inner battles over whether or not each character should be with one another. Some would say it is exactly how you or I would deal with the various situations that present themselves – sit on them until absolutely necessary then apologize profusely! – With the right balance of humour, relatable trials and tribulations of modern day relationships and that awkward feeling where you’re pretty sure there’s underlying sexual tension between you and a friend – this film manages to capture issues that often burden the general public more than anything and yet depict it in such an enjoyable way.Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 09.15.53

Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson are incredibly believable as the lead characters who share this surface based brother/sister /best friend style friendship; and a lot of this is to do with the heavily improvised scenes which not only make the audience feel like they’re catching a glimpse through the keyhole of a group of peoples lives but also help you to dispel any potential distaste towards Wildes beautiful and likeable girl next door persona. You can understand why Luke likes Kate, she’s one of the boys, and is always the one up for some fun. What you do question within this film is why there isn’t any suspicion or doubt from each of their characters other halves. Their tactile approaches to each other can be a little hard to swallow sometimes and yet you’re still routing to see if they eventually take the brave step to cross that all important line.Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 09.18.29

What these characters represent is often the realistic approach to potentially something better suited to ones self. Its clear to the audience that Luke and Kate would be perfect for each other, yet they never dare to do anything more than think about it. You will leave this film questioning whether or not there are regrets about someone or something that you have had the opportunity to pursue in days gone by, and having taken the safer option, maybe regretted after.

What the director manages to do with Drinking Buddies, is give its audience a glimpse into the days of the lives of people not so different to you and I, everyday jobs and simple pleasures that we all have, essentially, life is a simple construct and sometimes its not really worth the complication. With this in mind Swanberg delivers a film that is fun to watch, quirky in its own right and most importantly get you thinking. Its style is simple and poignant, so wont be everyone’s cup of tea, not much happens throughout, but what does happen manages to get you routing for those you’re watching, laughing at similarities that you most likely will see in yourself, and leaving hopefully with a smile on your face.

Drinking Buddies hits cinemas 1st November.

4 Stars

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A celebration of food review at the @realfoodfestival #Food #Freshfood #market

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Deep in the heart of London’s Southbank, you’ll find a gem of a food festival which takes place on a weekly basis and on special occasions (like Easter weekend) extends to the banks of the Thames itself. Its called the Real Food Festival and is one of the best ongoing food festivals in London at the moment.

Bringing together a fusion of food from around the world, the Real Food Festival is starting to establish itself as the affordable, fresh, go-to food market for foodies and those who just fancy something different for lunch.  What we really liked about it is that there is so much variety available. This is probably our third trip and every time we go there is something new. On this occasion we went for the full three course meal, starter, main and desert, and were not disappointed!

Unconventionally our starter was a cup of yummy Jasmine Tea from Bunta which is a Vietnamese inspired street food stall which is as colourful in colour as it is in flavour…From prawn skewers to sweet potato crisps and noodle salads, this was the perfect starting place to get an education in worldwide food.

Vietnamese Street Food stall Bunta

Vietnamese Street Food stall Bunta

Next up was a pit-stop via the Community Kitchen Project which uses fresh food produce to create North African inspired food… this stall was always busy and very helpful to explain where the food comes from, definitely worth checking out… We absolutely loved its philosophy being based on the old idea of having a central kitchen space where everyone from the village comes to cook, chat and share recipes and resources – its a commercial business with a social purpose – so really does have people at the heart of what it does.

Cheese and freshly baked cakes all on show at the Real Food Festival

Cheese and freshly baked cakes all on show at the Real Food Festival

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We also wondered around the stalls and settled on a tasty Paella cooked in a stall aptly named Paella! As the stall holder said, whilst battling the gigantic paella pans “its worth the wait” and it really was, a generous portion of healthy seafood paella cooked to perfection, absolutely divine… its just a shame that they haven’t developed their online marketing strategy just yet otherwise we’d be more than happy to point all you lovely people straight in its direction!

Finally, continuing the Spanish theme, (we just couldn’t resist) it was Churros! Churros! Churros! and if you didn’t have a chance to sample any there, here’s a fantastic video showing you how to make it at home!

Remember its not just these few stalls that are on show at the Real Food Festival. Some of our other recommendations are:

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 Craft Beer Rising which is traditionally a festival at its brewery in Brick Lane but hosted a number of yummy beers at this festival too…well worth a sample or seven!

Battersea Pie  which is great British pies using traditional pastry and free range meat – British street food dining at its finest with food sourced from our fair Isles.

Grays and Feather a delightful taster of some fantastic world wines sold in quirky bottles and fantastic additions to any dinner table… all you winos out there will relish in this treat!

So there you have it an action packed food festival full of tasters from worldwide cuisine ready to get your mouth watering!

The Real Food Festival runs every Friday – Sunday right next to the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank, so make sure you check it out!