shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


what he said*

Okay, so, what Alan said about Sideways. He was one of the houseguests I talked into going to see the movie, and we even snuck in a bolly of red wine. Since then, I've been trying to bridge the disconnect between a great many people whose opinions I respect and our group's consensus about the movie. I'll probably see it again, but in short, I'll steal Alan's words:
Anyway, I think America is so culturally impoverished now that any film which makes half-assed stabs at "high" culture suddenly gets swept up as an anti-blockbuster in the critical consciousness (and critical wannabe consciousness). E.g., "It's about wine--it must be the antidote to Shark Tale!!!" Witness the main characters' lame "my novel redeems the fact that I stole money from my mother" moment at the end of the movie, oh, oops spoiler! The "brilliant, unpublished first novel that lets him get laid" is interchangeable for the Pinot-or-Whatever '64 ( as if I care)--it's like when they review poetry in the New Yorker or NYTBR. They're not actually talking about poetry--it's the engine of nostalgia that it represents, "living a life which goes deeper than the surface", the primrose promise that represents an absolution for being a complete asshole. In that way, the lazy morality of Sideways is quintessentially American.

Really, read the whole thing. Worth your time, even if you really, really adore the movie.

*Please know that this hurts as much as disavowing a Wes Anderson movie would -- or watching the seventh season of Buffy did. I am a HUGE fan of ALL prior movies penned by Alexander Payne/Jim Taylor. I understand other people feel as passionately on the side of this movie as I do on the not caring for it tip AND this is not a popular-backlash thing. Natch.

p.s. This cold medicine is fun, but impersonating the MASK-esque head orc of the (extended) edition LOTR: ROTK by arranging my hands in funny shapes across my eye and forehead is funner.


  • At 10:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Wow, I had no idea the critics were fawning over this movie. Everything I've heard boils down to "not bad, but sort of half-assed." I likey the Payne/Alexander dynamic duo, but even they can only be as good as the novels they adapt.

    Speaking of Darling Wes, there's a fun interview with him in Paste.



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