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Sideways
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Fox Searchlight
Web Site: foxsearchlight.com/sideways
Kiddie Movie: Leave them at home.
Date Movie: Bring them along.
Gratuitous Sex: There is gratuitous sex and even a shot for the dudettes.
Gratuitous Violence: A nose gets broken.
Action: Not really.
Laughs: Tons.
Memorable Scene: The wallet scene.
Memorable Quote: Miles asks Jack "Are you chewing gum?" and Miles tells Jack "I am not drinking any fucking merlot!"
Directed By: Alexander Payne
Produced By: Michael London

Sideways
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 2:04 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
The easiest way I can start this review is to say that if you liked the movies "About Schmidt" or "Election," and could get that style of humor, you will probably love "Sideways." If you found those films to artsy for your comedic style, you might laugh a few times, but probably wonít be nearly as entertained. Me, I loved this movie.

"Sideways" gives us Miles and Jack, played by Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church respectively. They are old college buddies, and Jack is about to be married. Miles is a failing writer who also teaches 8th graders to pay the bills. Jack, on the other hand, is an old soap opera actor who does a lot of voice work and is marrying into money. Miles decides to take Jack on one last weeklong fling before his wedding, and well, Jack thinks a drive to California wine country for a little golf and some wine tasting is the way to go. Miles is a wine aficionado with a remarkable pallet, while Jack, well, isnít. Miles tries to teach Jack a thing or two about wine tasting, while Jack just wants to hit on chicks. Yes, that is the underlying theme, that Jack really is just looking for a couple of last flings before he has to get married, while Miles is divorced a couple of years and not really smooth with the ladies anymore.

As it turns out, Miles likes a waitress named Maya (Virginia Madsen) at one of the restaurants, who Miles thinks is still married, and Jack finds his match for the week in the likes of Stephanie (Sandra Oh). As it turns out, Stephanie is a good friend of Mayaís, who we find is recently divorced, and Jack uses this to get Miles out of the way, working to hook him and Maya up. And hilarity ensues.

Look, I know the synopsis I just gave doesnít scream hilarious comedy, but it is the contrast of characters between Jack and Miles that really makes this movie work. Jack is the womanizer, while Miles is unsure of himself, still in love with his ex-wife. This leads to many a confrontation, many a keeping of secrets, and many laughs.

"Sideways" is more of an artsy comedy than a "Dumb & Dumber" comedy, but it works on many levels, mostly because of the fantastic acting of Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church. Maya and Stephanie donít add to many of the laughs, but their roles are just as important to keep the story from being flat.

This is a smartly written comedy, for the adults, with lots of adult humor, and like I said at the beginning, if you found humor in "Election" or "About Schmidt," you will probably love this film. If youíre looking for "Thereís Something About Mary" humor, this one isnít it. For me, itís 5 stars out of 5. There were a few sections that dragged just a tad, but for the wallet scene alone, that put the movie over the top.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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