Perhaps the funniest movie ever made about two people with very few redeeming qualities, SIDEWAYS is well written, brilliantly acted and sharply directed.
Paul Giamatti is at his grumpy, insecure best as Miles, a school teacher and unpublished writer that has little confidence but plenty of passion for good wine.
Thomas Haden Church is Jack, a B-list Actor with some fame from his soap opera days and current commercials and only has a passion for turning that minor fame into major scores with nearly every woman he meets.
Former college roommates, Miles and Jack head to Napa for a getaway the week before Jack's marriage.
The two guys are as opposite as imaginable and their adventures are darkly funny and sometimes laugh-out-loud hilarious.
Jack seems fixated on bedding as many strangers as possible in his last week of freedom, disrupting Miles' plans for a week of wineries, tastings and golf at every turn.
About halfway through the film, you realize that these two guys are really not nice people. While one of them finds some redemption and an apparent road to being a better person by film's end, the other just moves forward on his twisted road.
Virgina Madsen plays a waitress at Miles' favorite restaurant and Sandra Oh her best friend. They both become involved with our boys, giving the film some of its sweetest and most dramatic moments.
The four lead actors are all great.
Miles' hate for Merlot is legendary, Jack's quest for women of all shapes, ages and sizes is both funny and sad and the film is full of memorable moments.
Director Alexander Payne (About Schmidt, Nebraska, The Descendants) keeps everything painfully real and while our two main characters may be less than fine, they are never less than fascinating.
The next time you want a funny, sad, painful but enjoyable blend to enjoy, uncork Sideways.
We'll give it an A.