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Miles (Paul Giamatti) (an alchoholic onophile, failed author, and erudite English teacher) takes Jack (Thomas Haden Church) (a washed up former actor and womanizer) on a tour of wine country, California, on his last week before getting married.

What I Thought

Sidways is a movie about two ordinary, flawed, and scarred people doing ordinary and scarring things. Affairs, alchohol, etc. They both find girlfriends and some self-knowledge, blah blah.

I wanted to go see Alexander that night but wasn't terribly interested in starting a 3-hour movie at 10 pm. So I still had that "action movie" frame of mind when we chose to see Sideways on a friend's recommendation. Keeping this in mind, the first half hour or so was a little painful for me. No swords, robes, or wars. No invading, like, 90% of the known world. However, plenty of drinking, sex, and driving around in a car (chariots, same thing).

If, on the other hand, you didn't have any sort of gladiatorial expectations, Sideways is an OK-funny movie. You may have heard critics raving about it, but it's funny nevertheless (none of that Lost *snoooore* in *snoooore* Translation). The comedy comes from the sad state these two losers are in, and how they keep digging themselves further and further. Yes, this is funny, especially when my life is going so well.

In the end, there's really not much satisfaction in the movie, though there's not much that happens anyway. Lost in Translation is a pretty good movie to compare this one to. Solid acting, some funny parts, and not terribly meaningful.

If it feels like I'm vacillating between liking it and not liking it, I would agree with you. I still don't know, but I'm leaning towards liking it. Let's just say that the lectures on wine making tempted me to take up drinking. Wait, is that a good thing?



All photos and text copyright Ryszard Kilarski, unless otherwise noted. Clip art, drawings, paintings are either free domain or copyrighted by the artists.