(Review originally written at 25 July 2009)

All you need sometimes is just a simple script, some normal everyday characters and situations and then some fine dialog and actors deliverance of it all. "Sideways" is film-making in its purest and most simplistic form. The movie doesn't try to be anymore than it really is and it doesn't exaggerate with either its drama, comedy or romance. It's a delicately, fine balanced movie, from a director who started out in the soft-core porn business.

Perhaps the movie at the time of its release got a little bit overpraised, also with its award nominations and such but now 6 years later you can watch the movie without all of the hype surrounding it and can conclude that this is simply one fine movie to watch.

In search of wine. In search of women. In search of themselves is really the best way to summarize this movie. The main characters are all middle-aged and at a point in their lives when they need to make choices and can start looking back at their lives so far. They all had their disappointments in life but still they also have dreams for the future, though they all realize most of them are in vein probably, since they have already passed 'the halve-way point' in life.

It's of course a type of movie that relies also mostly on its actors. The movie was in great luck with it's actors and it stars a fine Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church, who are an unlikely duo, who basically have very little in common and life different lives, with different careers and ideas and are friends just simply because of the fact that they happened to be roommates in college. You believe the characters and their friendship, which also gets tested throughout the movie during multiple occasions.

It's a nice road trip movie, that however also stops at times and takes it time to build up things and characters, without being constantly on the move. The movie might not be hilariously funny but it's more the subtle kind of movie that becomes fun and light with the help from its actors, dialog and the approach of the more serious and dramatic aspects of the movie.

A great movie in its sort.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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