And now can officially hate it rather than unofficially dislike it.
From first hearing about this film, I wasn't terribly interesting. Then it started getting big sloppy blowjobs from every critic who saw it, so I figured it was my job to at least give it a chance. But not until I'd seen Kinsey, Closer, Finding Neverland,
and A Very Long Engagement,
and that pretty much used up one trip to Philly. A film a day.
I live in BFE, so Sideways
finally showed up at a theater near me last week. But so did Million Dollar Baby,
and I like Clint and Hilary and Morgan far better, so I saw that first. Then I went out of town, and saw Hotel Rwanda
while I was gone, and now I'm back and have finally sat through a movie that by now I was completely sick of hearing about.
And what did I think?
Well, to be fair, Paul Giamatti is wonderful. He's a great actor (and I'm not going to insult him by throwing the word "character" in front of actor), and he really shows that here. Mostly it's in the eyes, when his character's had too much to drink and is coming to terms with his failures. It hurts.
Sandra Oh and Virginia Madsen are gorgeous, and frankly, the biggest point of irritation for me is trying to believe that these lovely, spunky, intelligent, mature women fell for a couple of immature, whining bastards like the two leads.
There, I said it. I despise both of them. I hate Miles (Giamatti) for being a critical, whining, spineless bastard who sabotages everything in his life and then wonders why people hate him for it. And I hate Jack (Thomas Haden Church) for being a cheating bastard who tries to perk up his friend but whines "you don't understand the things I need to do."
I hate the pretentious speech Miles gives about his love for Pinot Noir, about how it's a difficult grape to grow, blah blah blah, obvious metaphor for how difficult a human being he is to like, but how it's worth it, really, oh golly gee, beautiful woman, fall in love with my vulnerability. Blech.
I hate how every joke seems to come at someone's expense, like the "fat girl" who's "two tons of fun," and how of course the wild woman (Sandra Oh) secretly wants to fall in love and settle down with this immature idiot of a man--who is still infinitely more likable than his friend, who can't even admit the truth to the friend he lies for.
I feel like I did after seeing Ghost World
, which I'd heard people rave about for ages. This movie is far more cynical even than I am, and I'm a critic. Supposedly there's something life-affirming about this man finding love with a woman he in no way deserves, but as a woman, I'm offended by the suggestion.
I can see why critics like it, though. After all, it's a movie with a failed writer and a failed actor getting to score with gorgeous women and blather pretentiously about wine. I see the connection.