A middle-aged Japanese man travels to California to attend the wedding of his American-based friend. Prior to the big event, they take one last trip to Napa Valley, where they taste wine, dally with romance.
Miles is a failed writer living a meager existence in San Diego as an English teacher. With his career seemingly fading and the fate of a book hinging on a publisher's decision, Miles is depressed with himself and what he hasn't achieved. Jack is a television actor whom some recognize but not many do, as if he were a minor actor who got a taste of success. With his best friend Miles, the two embark on a road trip through California's wine country. Miles wants to give his friend a nice sendoff before married life, while Jack simply wants to have a fling beforehand. As they're both nearing middle age with not much to show for it, the two will explore the vineyards while ultimately searching for their identities. Written by
Most of the wine used in the wine-tasting scenes was non-alcoholic. The actors wound up drinking so much of it that it made them nauseated (and had to periodically switch to the real thing to clean out their palates). See more »
Miles drops off Jack in front of Christine's house. You see them unload the golf clubs and wine boxes on the left side of the porch, close to the door. In the next scene you see Miles in the car observing Jack who knocks on the door. It appears that the golf clubs and boxes of wine are not in the scene when Jack knocks and the door is opened by Christine. At the end of the scene the boxes and clubs can be seen to the far right side of the porch, further away from the door. See more »
Alexander Payne is becoming a magnet for me. I wait for his films. He is an eminently American director that can look in with the incisive eye of an incisive foreigner. Besides all that, he is a poet. In "Election" he gives us an electro shock disguised as a Teen College Comedy. I laughed in horror at the cleverness of the storytelling. In "About Schmid" he forces us to look into one of the darkest corners of our society and find ourselves there. And he does it in the funniest most entertaining way. In "Sideways" he trusts his audience enough to put impossible hurdles for us to love his characters -- Paul Giamatti and his mother's money, for instance -- and yet, we have to admit he's made his point. We are all people. He manages to surprise us with our own capacity for compassion. Vittorio De Sica, Billy Wilder and Mario Monicelli come to mind. Yes Mr. Payne you are the ticket!
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