Wine is a living thing. It breathes. It is complex. It continues to evolve as it gets older. Its age serves as a reminder of past histories. Judging by its date of origin, you can taste if the year in question was a good year or a bad year. Then, eventually, with time, it peaks. It reaches its fullest potential. And then begins its inevitable decline. In Sideways, Miles (Paul Giamatti) and his best friend since they were college roommates, Jack (Thomas Haden Church) are like two bottles of wine. One is on the way to peaking while the other has begun his decline.
As a gift to Jack, and to celebrate his last week of bachelorhood, Miles takes him on a trip through California wine-country, thinking that they'll eat great meals, drink great wines and play a little golf. Jack, however, has a different idea… he wants to get laid one last time before he ties the knot, and if possible, he wants to get Miles laid too. For Miles having sex would put an end to two years of his self-instilled celibacy since his divorce.
These are two opposite characters whose differences would usually make them incompatible, but in this case makes for a great movie duo. Both in their forties, Miles is the one who hates his job, is trying, without any signs of hope, to get a novel published, and whose depression is taking away his motivation. Jack still acts as if he was in college, and has a libido to match. An immature occasional-actor who seems to live freely, with no care of possible consequences. They meet up with Maya (Virginia Madsen) and Stephanie (Sandra Oh) and turn their week into a roller coaster of emotions fueled by wine, sex, awkwardness, and more wine.
Payne, who also directed Election and About Schmidt, sets the perfect mood for this story. Subtlety. Along with great performances from all of the main actors, as well as some of the supporting (Marylouise Burke's job as Mile's mom is, in itself, worth the price of the ticket) and warm and fun visuals. And what's my verdict? It is a film that will get even better with time.
Special DVD Features:
-Commentary by Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church
-7 deleted scenes