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#201- Sideways

Quick recap: Two guys (friends?) go on the most depressing wine tour ever.

Don't be fooled. Everyone is miserable or will be miserable soon.

Don’t be fooled. Everyone is miserable or will be miserable soon.

Fun (?) fact: Most of the wine everyone drank in the movie was non-alcoholic. It tasted so bad and made everyone so sick that they had to drink the real stuff once in awhile to ‘cleanse their palate’.


My thoughts: Wine is one of those things I wish I was a fan of, but have never been able to enjoy. I tried some back in college because I wanted to feel sophisticated but ended up using so much Fresca that it defeated the point. As an adult I think I have finally come to terms with the fact that I will most likely never enjoy wine and that’s ok. Still, there’s a part of me that becomes jealous when I see that a friend is touring Napa Valley or the wine region in Texas (That’s a thing. Didn’t know that until earlier this year). I envy people who get to do sophisticated things such as wine tasting, although spitting into a bucket is still a little weird. Do you know who I don’t envy? Miles and Jack from this movie.

Immediately after finishing Sideways, my first thought was, ‘ Gee, that was stupid’. My second thought was, ‘I wonder where I could watch Wings. That show was comedy gold!’. But eventually, my thoughts drifted back to the movie. The whole point (I think) had more to do with Miles’ character than anything else. He’s an unsuccessful writer depressed about his recent divorce. He and Jack (Thomas Haden Church) make for an unlikely pair, and I don’t mean that in a Felix and Oscar goofy sort of way. They seriously don’t fit together, and I think that’s what bothered me most about the film. I came into the movie thinking this was a sophisticated version of a bro comedy and instead I get a duo that seem entirely wrong for each other. If there is a bro to be found, it’s Jack who spends the week before getting married sleeping with whomever he feels like. He’s a slimeball, yes, but surely Miles already knew this? Why make himself miserable?

And so it is that question and (maybe) answer that made me appreciate and dare I say enjoy? (nope. I’ll stick with appreciate) Sideways. So as far as I can tell, Miles chooses to be miserable. He heads to his favorite place on earth with his idiot buddy, all the while knowing that Jack couldn’t care less about wine. He set himself up for failure and then got to mope around as a result. It isn’t until the end of the movie, as Miles sees that not only has his ex wife remarried but that she is also pregnant, that he has a moment of truth. I loved the scene of him in the fast food restaurant drinking his most expensive bottle of wine because that was his way of moving on. It was oddly beautiful. And the final scene with Miles knocking on Maya’s door essentially showed that he was free and maybe it was Jack all along who was really trapped. Mind blown.

Oh, Lowell, you've still got it.

Oh, Lowell, you’ve still got it.

Final review: 4/5. I was sitting at 2 but after spending a few days in thought, I decided to bump it up.

Up next: The Leopard , which I suspect is not actually about leopards. A girl can dream, though.

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