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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Movie Review: Sideways

I saw Sideways the other day and I dug it. I can't feature why, given that I liked only one character in the entire thing, and in the end she turns out to be an idiot. I've decided to make a Top Ten List to better explain me to myself: (and you get to share!!!)

Top Ten Thoughts on Sideways.

10-5 The Good

10. Sandra Oh when she replies to being called a "bad, bad girl" with "I know. I need to be spanked." Then she slaps her ass/hip like a stripper as she walks away!!! Excellent. The slap was subtle but there. I dug it.

9. Giamatti's (Miles) long explanations about the different qualities of wines. Not enough movies take advantage of the Moby Dick Effect. I can't stand wine. I sip Heiny or Steiny to be social and slug single barrell bourbon (if I can get it) to get buzzed and I think wine sucks. But I don't particularly care for whaling, either, and yet I dug Moby Dick's whaling scenes. People like to learn.

8. When Giamatti's love interest Maya explains to him why she likes wines. This is a woman who just came back from a metaphorical hell, where every defense, every pretension, was ripped from her like the way the little boy in the Narnia book who got turned into a dragon had his dragon skin ripped away by Aslan. If you've been there, if you've done that, you know where she was and knew what she was doing and loved her a little bit for it. She might seem vulnerable in that scene but she is not. She is past that. Lovely.

7. The friendship. It is a buddy picture and they are buddies for all the right reasons- neediness, loneliness, and boredom. They love and hate each other just about equally, with love coming out ahead. This is a true friendship, as opposed to some movie friendships. It's reminiscent of that sex scene in that movie where the Russian and German snipers faced off... Part of me was like, whoa, did they just actually fuck?

6. The end that should have been. When Giamatti downs that great bottle in the fast food joint, I thought that was perfect. I thought 1. the movie finally made a judgement and 2. Giamatti (Miles) is finally going to hit bottom and start working up...

The Bad 5-1

5. Giamatti rips off his mother. Now, maybe I'm being a judgemental dick, but I'm sorry, that's it for me. I'm not going to like him after that. I just... can't. How can you? (Don't tell me I'm not SUPPOSED to like him. I am. I'm supposed to like him despite his flaws. But that was too much. I mean the movie went from being enjoyable on one level- empathy- to being enjoyable on another level- the freak tent at that travelling carnival. I never bought a thing Giamatti said after that.)

4. Oh is banging this guy for a day and she brings him into her daughter's life??? WTF?!? Hey, you want to make a no message movie about middle-aged neurotic assholes being middle-aged neurotic assholes? go ahead I dig it. But leave stealing from mothers and breaking daughters hearts OUT OF IT. Some might not see this the way I do, so let me explain. How would you feel if Church's character beat the living crap out of Oh, and then Oh was with him the next day, 'cause she deserved it? Would that sort of knock you out of the story? Yeah. Well, that's how I felt with the daughter exposure and stealing from mother scenes. I guess I'm old fashioned.

3. 2.
These both have to do with Giamatti's love interest falling for Giamatti. Okay, first of all, she had a brain. So...
3. she should have been holding back guffaws of laughter at Giamatti's "I love Pinot because, like Pinot, I am a delicate grape that needs love and nurturing, not a rough grape that can make my own way in this inthenthitive world" speech.
2. she should NOT have called him. That was just fucking ridiculous.

And the number 1: bad thing about Sideways:
1. Nobody gets his. I mean bad behavior is not punished, and good behavior IS punished, (she calls Giamatti- bad for her). Which means nobody learns, nobody develops, nobody grows. So, basically, this movie says that assholes, once they pass a certain age, are assholes forever.

Okay... so now do I know why I liked it? Not really. I wouldn't recommend it, but I would probably watch it again. Weird.


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