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Just Between Frames

Our Take On: "Sideways"

Sideways graphic

JBF celebrated the start of summer with seeing the movie Sideways – a film that features the sunny wine vineyards of Northern California as its setting and backdrop to a quirky character-focused story of two men ostensibly traveling to celebrate one man (Jack)’s up-coming wedding. The trip is best man (Miles)’ present, but it soon becomes clear that the buddy golfing, wine-tasting, hanging out together trip he envisioned, where he could get a break from stressing over whether his book will get published isn’t going to happen. And Jack is going to keep telling people (women in particular) that Miles has a book that’s being published. Jack is looking to “get laid” as much as possible before his wedding, and he sees the book angle as being the one most likely to work for Miles too. Before long, both meet women who interest them: Jack goes for Stephanie (a very young Sandra Oh) and Maya (Virginia Madsen) is quietly interested in Miles.

We felt that as the story progressed, it became clear that both men were still emotionally stuck at the college level, even though they are both in the mid/late thirties. Both have a sense that their lives are passing them by, and their frantic efforts to cope with this are both humorous and poignant. This was more true of Miles than Jack, but Jack got some sympathy for how he’s trapped himself in a marriage that he sees more as a life raft than a desirable relationship. Members thought he was likely either to end up divorced or unhappily selling cars. Miles at least seems to have a hopeful ending and the possibility he’ll continue to write creatively.

We could see why other groups and patrons have talked about how good a movie this is, and that it is a great representative of a good independent “sleeper” movie.

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