Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Travel Movie: Sideways

Sideways is a 2004 movie showing two bachelors having one last weekend of fun before one gets married. Miles (Paul Giamatti) takes Jack (Thomas Hayden Church) for a couple days of wine tasting in the Santa Barbara wine region, but Jack is more interested in having a final fling before the wedding.

The two men explore the wineries in the area with the help of Maya (Virginia Madsen) and Stephanie (Sandra Oh).

While Napa Valley gets most of the attention as the top wine region in California, the Santa Barbara area has some great vineyards as well within 90 minutes' drive of Los Angeles. Sideways showcases locations in Beullton, Solvang, Santa Maria, and Santa Ynez.

Aside from the civilised settings and romantic lighting of the beautiful area, Sideways explores two very different men reacting to crossroads in their lives as they reach middle age (hint: neither is handling it especially well).

Verdict: Rent it (with a bottle of Pino Noir)

Bonus! The Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau has self-guided tour brochures of the restaurants and wineries used in the film if you want to trace their steps.

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