My Favorite Room: "Drinking Buddies" Director Joe Swanberg

The Chicago indie filmmaker has everyone toasting his latest offering. As part of our "My Favorite Room" series, we asked the director and Lincoln Square resident to share an inside glimpse of his perfect space.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson in Joe Swanberg's Drinking Buddies, a Magnolia Pictures release.

The 31-year-old filmmaker with the “mumblecore” creds (films with micro budgets, an improvised script and shot by the seat of your pants, usually with amateurs) received a big wet Hollywood welcome kiss: a million-dollar budget (like winning the lottery) and a distribution deal with art house Magnolia Pictures for Drinking Buddies. The crew spent 18 whirlwind days shooting at Revolution Brewing in Logan Square for a flirtatious story set in the world of a craft brewery. 

“Everyone connects to being in a relationship and having a crush on someone who may be a better fit,” Swanberg told Chicago Magazine about his film starring Olivia Wilde (Tron, Cowboys & Aliens), Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston as couples in adult situations. Swanberg, who has 14 feature films under his belt, was inspired by Paul Mazursky’s swinging 1969 comedy Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, and if not a perfect analogy or exactly an ode, it’s of the same genus without the complication of being either French or too self-conscious.

Photo by: Joe Swanberg Chicago filmmaker Joe Swanberg took this snapshot of his favorite room for FrontDoor: a tiki bar in a refurbished basement.

When we asked the director to tell us about his favorite room, he sent us a snapshot of his tiki space, which just confirms what we always suspected: He's got to be one of the coolest people on the planet. 

“My wife and I bought a house in Chicago two years ago,” he told us. “The previous owners had turned the basement into a tiki bar in the 1960s.” The Swanbergs kept everything intact and exactly as it was when they moved in. “It's my favorite room in the world,” he says. “There's no better place to hang out and entertain friends.” We can definitely co-sign that.

Drinking Buddies opens Aug. 23. Bring a date, or someone that needs a hint. 

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