Sideways (2004)

(Note: This film is part of my “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die” project of film reviews).

Since I’ve been in the mood for a comedy type of movie, I decided to re-visit this film. And, I have to admit – I was a bit apathetic when I first saw the film years ago as it just didn’t quite interest me at the time. Though, now that a few years have gone by – I have to say that it was quite entertaining the second time around. But, why?

I think this is a very adult type of movie in the sense that it explores the issue of growing up and being able to move on with your life. Perhaps when I first saw this film a few years back, I was not at the place in my life where I could relate to this type of film.

In a sense, it’s really a self-reflection kind of movie told in a very comedic fashion. But, in order to understand it’s message – I think you really have to be able to be in a place in your life where you can relate. Otherwise, it may not be as interesting.

(Note: Since the movie does touch upon a lot of “grown-up” issues, I think this film does play to a certain audience demographic – a little under middle age and up.)

At it’s core, this film is really about believing in yourself and being able to move forward with your life. The main character, Miles Raymond (played by Paul Giamatti), really loathes himself in self-pity without giving himself the benefit of the doubt. He is the epitome of the “tortured artist” being unable to move his life forward allowing life to push him around. His self confidence is lost and in doing so – his spirit is lost.

On the other hand, there is his friend Jack Cole (played by Thomas Haden Church) who seems to have the opposite problem – he has too much self confidence. In fact, his self confidence allows him to be the type of outgoing person Miles could only dream of being. Jack is able to talk to people easily being able to get his way most of the time. Though as the film progresses, we soon find out there is a cost to his self confidence.

(Note: For those who have seen the movie, you’ll know what I’m talking about. There are a couple of situations where I just had to chuckle!)

Though Miles and Jack are at opposite sides of the spectrum with respect to their personalities, it definitely plays to be quite an enjoyable dynamic. It’s very entertaining to see how both interact and react to each other’s antics throughout the movie.

(Note: My favorite part of the movie is the “wallet rescue,” for those who have seen it. Seeing Paul Giamatti’s facial expression and shifty eyes makes the scene very entertaining and enjoyable – it makes me laugh every time!)

Aside from Miles’ and Jacks’ dual personalities, the friendship between them is one that really exhibits their bond with each other. I think many can relate to having a friend that sometimes just does not mesh with our personality yet still draws us in. Sure, we may have our disagreements and not see “eye to eye” on every issue but in the end – our friendship is what holds us together.

If you’re in the mood for a comedy type of movie that focuses on adult issues, you may want to check this one out.

Film Gurl’s 15 Minute Rule: PASS

Happy movie watching!

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