Sideways (2004)


Movie Review

Directed by: Alexander Payne

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, and Sandra Oh

Miles (Paul Giamatti) is an unsuccessful writer in San Diego who makes a living as an English teacher.  Jack (Thomas Haden Church) is an unsuccessful actor on the road to marriage.  They’re two middle age losers.  The two long time friends and wine connoisseurs decide to take a road trip to California’s wine country.  In the Santa Ynez Valley wine country, the two buddies meet Maya (Virginia Madsen), a waitress at a local restaurant, and her friend Stephanie (Sandra Oh).  Jack cheats on his fiancée with Stephanie, while Miles tries to get closer to Maya.  When the truth of Jack’s looming marriage surfaces, all hell breaks loose.

Sideways is one of the best dark comedies I’ve ever seen.  Director Alexander Payne gave the film the right mix of slapstick comedy, drama, and heartfelt moments.  This is a film for the refined drinker. It’s is a film where the BAC rating differs from the drink recommendation.  While the film gets a 0.03% rating, you should definitely watch Sideways with a glass of wine in hand.  It would be disrespectful to this great film to do otherwise.  Don’t drink Merlot though.



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