Sideways (2004) starts out poorly, with horrible background music interspersed among awkwardly developed scenes. Soon enough those negative aspects dissolve away and we are left with a minor masterpiece; a thoroughly engaging, darkly humorous but also touching romantic story. Think along the lines of an alternate-reality Woody Allen flick. Or maybe Woody Allen crossed with a little of TV’s The Office and a dash of Louis C.K.
This movie received near-universal praise, and enjoys a 96% Tomatometer rating. It also won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay. Roger Ebert offered his highest praise, stating:
…what happens during the next seven days adds up to the best human comedy of the year — comedy, because it is funny, and human, because it is surprisingly moving.
I learned today that a stage adaptation is coming to a local venue, the La Jolla Playhouse. That’s appropriate since the main character’s home is a very average San Diego apartment. I’ll update you if I see the play.
This is a great film. It’s got some old-hat cheesy elements for sure, but that just adds to its charm. 9/10