Ever since I moved to (and then away) from Santa Barbara I felt obliged to watch the movie Sideways, because it was shot in that area. The other reason I was told to check it out was that everybody told me how “clever” the movie was. Well, I finally saw it. I liked it enough, but not from the two perspectives mentioned above. I did recognize some locations, but most of them were totally unknown for me. And when I hear a movie describe clever I would expect some lessons to be learned from it, or interesting plot or great conversations. The first two points were delivered so-so, but the third escaped me. That probably wouldn’t have been the case if I were a wine connoisseur.
Now, had I come to the experience without any expectation it would have been much better. The plot (a thirtysomething guy accompanies his friend on a week-long trip to wine country rampage before he ties the knot) was novel; the characters (the woodyallenish failed writer/husband/teacher; the gorgeous infidel groom/actor, the smart waitress, the sexy, single mom waitress…) were well developed and the main actors were great. It also had enough twists and surprises to keep me entertained. The best part was that it was different from any other movie I have seen, it was non-formulaic.