Sideways (2004)

Directed by Alexander Payne
(number 494)

This movie did astonishingly well. I’ve tried to watch it once before and Lee and I both got so frustrated with the awful ham fisted speech about why Miles loves Pinot Noir that we gave up on it half an hour in.

I wasn’t looking forward to this movie, because I could remember that so clearly, and how annoyed I was at these two middle class heterosexual white dudes just complaining about the horror of being them. But hey, this project is about trying these things and approaching them with a different perspective.

I wish I could say I understand why people love this movie.

Miles and Jack take a week long holiday together as a kind of bachelor thing because Jack is getting married on Saturday. Jack is sorta goofy, sorta dumb and the more socially adept of the two. He’s also determined to sleep with a girl before he gets hitched and it’s game over.

Miles is hung up on his ex wife no longer loving him and drunk dials her and I dunno.

They just aren’t very nice guys and it’s hard to sympathise with them. They talk about wine, about how hard it is to be them, and they treat the women poorly. I just… can someone explain the appeal to me?

The movie is very nicely shot, lots of lovely images of wine country and the music’s fine.

Bechdel test: Nope, the women are only shown talking to the men. Interestingly this aligns pretty closely with In the Company of Men where it feels like it’s a conscious choice. This story and these women are shown purely from the point of view of the male characters.

Best line: Jack roaring and swinging his club at some other golfers was my favourite moment, which I guess translates as ‘raaargh’ being the best line.

State of Mind: Mehhhhhhh.


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