Schuyler says:

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine.
Could you be mine.
It’s a neighborly day in this beauty wood,
A neighborly day for a beauty
Would you be mine.
Could you be mine.
I have always wanted to have a neighbor
Just like you.

Over the years, Mr. Rogers has been the definition of a “consistent character”. This, boys and girls, is what we adultssideways.jpg call a “euphemism” for “no character development whatsoever.” And Mr. Rogers functions as a “metaphor” for Sideways. This film has its ups and downs, but the biggest down leaves you with a taste in your mouth comparable to a poor Merlot (and we learn there are many of those). That negative factor is of course the lack of any character development whatsoever in this film. Yes, the characters (Miles – Paul Giamatti & Jack – Thomas Haden Church) are certainly not one-dimensional, but they start at point A and end at point A. The movie is cleverly titled “Sideways” to hint at the lack of linear development the characters make.

So basically…the writers INTENTIONALLY wrote characters so that they could NOT develop them. Ah yes, which reminds me of the time I went out of my way to have children so I could not feed them, not watch them grow up, and not watchsideways2.jpg them go to college. I have my children “just ‘cuz.” And the writers wrote these characters “just ‘cuz.” When the film concludes, you are left completely devoid of any reason to have seen the film. You watch characters progress sideways, but where’s the art in that? People don’t do that. People can become more evil, or more good, but no-one remains as stagnant as Miles and Jack. The directors/writers feel that by gradually revealing more of their character flaws they are in fact “developing” them. Nope.

Positive time: For a young person, this movie is a great way to become an elitist wine-snob. How is that positive, you ask? Well, personally, I didn’t like red wine all that much ::puts top hat upon head, curls moustache, lights expensive cigar::, but after seeing Sideways, I became a Pinot Noir fanatic! But I won’t stick just any old Pinot in my mouth. Only the dark ones! Roll your eyes if you will, but once you go Noir…you’ll move to Cote D’Ivoire.

Rundown: (Not featuring the Rock) This movie got a lot of critical acclaim…but then again critics are the same people who couldn’t get enough of Crash, so take their opinions with less than a grain of salt. I don’t care for the experimental character non-development, and the best thing about this film is the wine appreciation/knowledge it gives to a vino-newbie. Like a true alcoholic, it left me needing a bit more in my glass than I was given.

Grade: 70



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