Tuesday, June 26, 2007

#99 Sideways (2004)

Directed by Alexander Payne
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh

I first saw Sideways before I began to like, or at least appreciate wine. Seminally though, this story of two friends who travel through the Californian wine country on a bachelor week, uses the drink as a metaphor for human depth and body. Middle-aged buds Jack and Miles are so uniformally different in refinement and nature, but are never judged in terms of quality. After all, its all in the name of taste. You can be in the mood for a heavy cabernet sauvignon, but sometimes a light white number does just the trick.

Although I haven't quite entered middle-age yet (Haha, thankfully a while to go yet) the desperation and transparency of the two men -- and in many ways, of the two women -- mirror the insecurities of people stuck in their youth, afraid of commitment, and of people with the frantic need to settle down. It's also a madcap and at times stupid comedy, but the soulful essence of the people enduring the tale are enough to allow you to submit to the slightly depressing aura that Sideways continually seems to emananate.

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