Unpalatable promo for California wines, more broadly a paean to good old American know-how and a chance, at the same time, to stick it to the French, the British, the Old World. A competitive wine tasting in the Bicentennial year of 1976, boiled down as “a bunch of hicks taking on the French,” has been freely fictionalized into a chipper comedy (or so we intuit from the prodding music), boasting bright photography, a spotty period atmosphere, a flimsy vinicultural backdrop, and, apart from Freddy Rodriguez in a small role, an assemblage of oddly unappealing people: the stereotyped snob (Alan Rickman), the tactless capitalist (Bill Pullman), the dippy hippie (Chris Pine), the blithe blonde (Rachael Taylor), the snooty barmaid (Eliza Dushku), among others. Directed by Randall Miller. (2008) — Duncan Shepherd
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