Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Movie Review: Sideways (2004)

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Hayden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh
Director: Alexander Payne
Genre: Comedy
Rating: R

Two friends go out on a road trip to the California wine country looking for a last getaway before one of the two gets married. Paul Giamatti plays the failed writer/wine connoisseur and Thomas Hayden Church plays the actor who is trying to sow his wild oats one last time before getting hitched. Along the way they meet up with two women they develop feeling for. The women are played by Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh. Things start to get complicated but more interesting and entertaining for the viewer.

Sideways really surprised me. It was written by Alexander Payne who wrote About Schmidt. I really didn’t care for that movie so I had no real expectations for me liking Sideways. I don’t know if we are supposed to like these characters, but I sure did. All of them have faults that made them so relatable. Of course some things are extreme, but it just adds to the quirkiness and the true comedy of the movie. There is one scene of not-so-nice male nudity. Yikes! But don't let that prevent you from seeing this gem. Look for the part in the movie where the two guys are leaving a gas station and the gas price is around $1.70. Ah, the good old days of only a few years ago.

Great performances throughout and this film won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. I would recommend for any wine fan or anyone who can use a corkscrew without hurting themselves.

"And the more I drank, the more I liked what it made me think about."

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