Quantcast

Sideways

Search Movies

The bare outline would look like a hundred other buddy comedies: two old friends from college, an ex-soap opera actor and a would-be novelist, take off for an ostensible round of golfing and wine-tasting a week before the former's wedding. They present a classic study in contrasts: the slob and the snob; the free-wheeler and the fuddy-duddy; the fun-seeker and the aesthete; the hack and the artiste. The film itself not only illustrates the split; it incarnates it. Events unfold straight down the middle of the commercial road: the bridegroom, determined to sow as many wild oats as possible, has his amorous entanglements and his torturous extrications, while his divorced and depressed pal warms up slowly to a potential soul mate. It would not be difficult to picture, let's say, Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller in the parts. Nor would it be difficult to imagine the film as yet another Hollywood remake of a French farce (pick your winemaking region), originally starring Gerard Depardieu and Michel Blanc. But director and co-writer Alexander Payne, apparently drifting contentedly into the mainstream with his Election and About Schmidt, has clearly chosen now to paddle against the current. The choice — to do what's best for the film rather than best for the box-office — is clear enough in the casting: Thomas Haden Church and Paul Giamatti as the buddies, Sandra Oh (the filmmaker's wife) and Virginia Madsen as their respective romantic interests. In other areas, too, the film asserts its (in all senses) independence. Not, however, in every area: not in its whip-crackingly chipper music or its negligently washed-out color. But within the commonplace plot outline, the details are vibrant and venturesome, not flyblown and formulaic: Giamatti filling in the New York Times crossword puzzle atop his steering wheel to pass the time on the freeway, or hastily signing his mother's birthday card as he walks from his car to her front door. (And no mainstream movie would allow an aspiring novelist to cite, as an influence, Robbe-Grillet, much less allow his listener to know what he means.) And the depiction of masculine deceit — self-deception, congenital mendacity — extends as far and as wide as a whole way of life, a fundamental condition of existence, a subject for a film of substance. (2004) — Duncan Shepherd

Rated R | 2 hours, 3 minutes
Official Website

Showtimes

This movie is not currently in theaters.

Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close