Sideways (2004)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Romance


Sideways (2004) Poster

Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.

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7.5/10
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  • Thomas Haden Church and Paul Giamatti in Sideways (2004)
  • Thomas Haden Church and Paul Giamatti in Sideways (2004)
  • Virginia Madsen and Paul Giamatti in Sideways (2004)
  • Thomas Haden Church and Paul Giamatti in Sideways (2004)
  • Alexander Payne in Sideways (2004)
  • Thomas Haden Church and Paul Giamatti in Sideways (2004)

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16 April 2005 | tfrizzell
Keeping Everything Bottled Up.
Sad, disillusioned and depressed middle school teacher/aspiring novelist Paul Giamatti takes his best friend (Thomas Haden Church) to California's wine country for one last week of freedom before he marries. Church is on the prowl though and extremely horny as he wants nothing more than to sleep with women before his wedding. Thus these two opposites (who are more alike than they appear on first glance) have all sorts of adventures and misadventures. They meet two women (Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh) and immediately take an interest in them. Divorcée Giamatti is shyly attracted to Madsen while Church falls in lust real quick with Oh. What is going to transpire over this week? Outstanding direction by Alexander Payne (who is one of the better "new-age" film-makers) knows which comedic and dramatic buttons to push here. His screenplay (which he co-wrote with cohort Jim Taylor) is deeper than it appears on the surface. Just like "Election" and "About Schmidt", "Sideways" works because the characters are quirky and hilarious, but also vulnerable and real. The four leads are remarkable with Church stealing the show and Madsen doing the work of her life. Giamatti's quiet and heartfelt role makes you sympathize and care for this flawed man. An intelligent adult-themed comedy/drama that works from many angles. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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