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    Reader comments on Sideways

    Subject: Re: Why did this movie get good reviews?
    Date: Nov 28, 2004
    Sender: David HarrisPrevious | Next

    I have to say I disagree with this viewers' assessment of Sideways. As he did in both "Election" and "About Schmidt", Alexander Payne continues his exploration of what I like to call "life chapters" ("Election" explores late adolescent American overreach, "About Schmidt" portrays the life of a man at retirement for whom there is no chair at the end of the game) who with this glimpse of a couple of 40 something American men for whom indeed the bell has tolled (or has it ?). As to there being "a half dozen funny scenes", who says the movie has to be a laugh riot ? I don't think that's the intent. As to the wine metaphor being lost, the point is that the main character (Paul Giamatti) is an alcoholic who hides behind the acceptable facade of being a wine connisseur but for whom the notion of being in one's prime (like a fine wine) is lost in a wave of denials and half truths. At the end of the film, he realizes that running around with his adolescent pal, be-moaning the loss (through divorce) of his ex-wife, begrudging her happiness, impedes his ability to find his own, and like many of us who would rather succomb to self defeat than give it a second go round, approaches the closed door of relationships (after a little encouragement from an answering machine) one more time. Far from depressing, I think the film is hopeful for those who wish to engage it's truths.

    Previous: Why did this movie get good reviews? | Next: Re: Why did this movie get good reviews?

    Respond to this message | Return to original article: Sideways

    Response to this comment:
    Why did this movie get good reviews?

    For the life of me, I do not understand why this movie got good reviews. The screenplay is obviously hacked together from a few decent premises; the laughs are few and far between. There are maybe a half dozen funny scenes and the characters are terminally one-dimensional and shallow. It's neither a "wild ride" nor any kind of thought-provoking story. The wine metaphor is completely abandoned at the end of the movie. WTF? We follow two losers, who, at the end of the movie are pretty much the same (or worse) losers than they were at the beginning. The main character, nor the audience is neither enabled or motivated. The whole movie is profoundly depressing and devoid of any underlying theme or sense of spirit.

    Comment index:

  • Why did this movie get good reviews?   from LaWineClub, Nov 25, 2004
  • » Re: Why did this movie get good reviews? «   from David Harris, Nov 28, 2004
  • Re: Why did this movie get good reviews?   from miles is a good guy, Apr 15, 2006
  • Why did this movie get good reviews?   from LaWineClub, Nov 25, 2004
  • » Re: Why did this movie get good reviews? «   from David Harris, Nov 28, 2004
  • Re: Why did this movie get good reviews?   from miles is a good guy, Apr 15, 2006