May 18, 2012


Sideways was originally a novel written by Rex Pickett in 2004. That same year it was transformed to a feature film, directed by Alexander Payne, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Kim Taylor. It starred Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Sandra Oh, and Virginia Madsen. It went on to become a critical and a commercial success, earning more than 100 million dollars.

According to the research I did, the film is classified as comedy-drama. Critics named it as one of the funniest movies of that year, and those comments sparked up a few expectations. For me, it's a dramatic film more than anything, and a wine documentary with the amount of wine involved in it. I actually learned a couple of things about the different kinds of wine which was really nice. It did have several funny moments and scenes, but to be honest, I wouldn't classify this one as a comedy. Does that take away the brilliance of the movie or the story? Absolutely not!

As a drama movie I thought it was really good. People might have assumptions that it would be boring; even I did. But as it turned out, I actually liked the movie a lot. I wished I got the chance to read the book before I saw it. Hopefully, I'd be able to find a copy of the book soon and get into it. (Just a side comment: Rex Pickett followed me on twitter! How great is that?) I liked the story of two friends having a last week together before one of them got married. The development of that week, which turned for the crazy fast, was interesting to watch. The different dynamics of the relationship of the two engaged me into the movie.

The characterization of these two was amusing, and touching at the same time. You have one person falling apart, loathing himself for having a failed marriage that led to a divorce. You got another one who's about to be married and decides to screw around. The two are very opposites and yet their friendship works for them. Even the characterization of the women they encountered in their little trip blew me away, moreso Stephanie. The characters itself makes me want to read the book, and that;s saying a lot because I'm not really a huge fan of reading. There's just something about these characters that makes me want to explore their personas more, know a little more about them, get to know them better. All these characters have different baggage and I guess the interaction of all those played well in the movie.

I think I liked the movie because of its messages - the rise and fall of things. It's just brilliant. There was a variety of scenes that showcase the ups and downs we all are familiar with, and that in itself is brilliant. It was also metaphorical and philosophical which just emphasizes the depth of the story, I think. The whole story, as a lot of people have already pointed out, was truly moving and inspiring to a certain extent.

For wine junkies out there, this will suit you just fine. A bit of drama and a whole lot of wine isn't a bad idea for an afternoon movie. A lot of the things I wrote came from my perspective of it, and there's a huge chance my interpretations do not necessarily coincide with the writer's vision. But I hope I made sense. I also want to encourage anyone and everyone to see Sideways the Play. Rex Pickett, if I am not mistaken, wrote the play, and I'm sure it will be good. It's actually their opening tonight, and I wanted to do a little tribute. I really wish I could be there and watch the play because I know it's going to be amazing.

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