Wednesday, April 25, 2007

2004, on DVD, from the library

You should know
I enjoy wine, Paul Giamatti, and Sandra Oh.

I’m glad there’s at least a slight ray of hope in this film. While it was entertaining, it seemed to have the message that life sucks, and we are incapable of doing anything about that. Not the stuff of escapism, certainly.

Jack is getting married, and to celebrate, his college roommate, Miles, is taking him on a weeklong tour of California wine country. Miles is still recovering from a painful divorce and awaiting word on the publication of his novel, so Jack has resolved to get Miles some action on their trip. They meet up with Maya, a graduate student Miles knows from previous wine-and-writing trips, and her friend, Stephanie, who hits it off with Jack. Of course, Jack is getting married. Hijinks ensue, as hijinks tend to do, but with a ton of angst and depression mixed in.

It was an interesting movie. I actually learned a bit about the proper way to taste wine (if it’s actually not the proper way, don’t tell me!), and I laughed out loud at certain points.

Check it out
It wasn’t the most fun movie I’ve ever seen, and it’s really not one for the kids, but overall there really wasn’t anything wrong with it. It told a story, used characters that you can care about even as you realize you’d never be able to stand them in real life, and it entertains. That’s the most important thing.

The rest of the Internet
Beware of spoilers...
The IMDbpage.
The Wikipedia page.
Great reviews at Rotten Tomatoes.
Slate's wine columnist weighs in on the movie and its wines.
The Sideways Wine Club.
A reviewer at Salon disliked the movie, and comes very close to insulting those who like it.
An article on Santa Barbara, where the film is set.
Maurice at Antihelden reflects on Sideways and road trips.

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