2006-03-30 12:54


The story begins when Miles (Paul Giamatti), an un-recovered divorce and would-be novelist with a wine fixation, decides to take his old college buddy and washed-up actor Jack (Thomas Haden Church) on a celebratory trip to the vineyards of the Californian winelands the week before Jack's wedding.

The two couldn't be an odder couple. Jack is an over-sexed charmer; Miles is an awkward worrier. Jack is looking for his "last taste of freedom"; Miles just wants to taste perfection in a bottle. Jack is fine with cheap Merlot; Miles pines for the elusive, perfect Pinot. Indeed, the only things they seem to share are their failed ambitions and fading youth.

And yet, as they make their way up the coast, the pair soon find themselves wallowing in wine and women. Jack falls head-over-heels for a local wine pourer (Sandra Oh) and threatens to call off his nuptials. Miles begins his own romantic encounter with a wine-savvy waitress (Virginia Madsen). Both men careen toward mid-life crises.

Now, the wedding approaches and with it the certainty that Miles and Jack won't make it back to Los Angeles unscathed or unchanged . . . if they get back there at all.

What the critics are saying:

"...for all the laughs, there's real soul and emotion here; a sparkling blend that slips down a treat."
- Nev Pierce, BBCi Film

"Alexander Payne's heart-piercing new film about a writer on the verge of disappointment is a reason to maintain hope in the film industry."
- Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

"...adds up to the best human comedy of the year -- comedy, because it is funny, and human, because it is surprisingly moving."
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

The filmmaker behind "About Schmidt" brings us a warm and intelligent tragic-comedy about wine, women and middle age angst.

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