1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Great Film About Coming to Grips with Disappointment,
This review is from: Sideways (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)If you're in the arts at all, this film will make even more sense to you. Certainly, two friends, both "arts oriented," are at a crossroads. Miles is on the cusp of another wasted effort (his latest literary opus is with an obscure publisher, "Conundrum," tottering on yet another rejection) while his actor friend, Jack, has come to realize his better days may be behind him (he's about to "cave in" and get married to a rather conventional, though lovely woman -- and, most likely, follow in the family business). This film is about their last hurrah; before possibly renouncing their youthful dreams of artistic glory.
The character of Miles is just brilliant -- funny, neurotic, self-loathing (and real because of it); he's like a lot artist friends I know. (Okay, actually, he's like ME.) His friend, Jack, appears more stable and "together" yet he too (as we later find out) is racked with insecurities and self-doubt.
In many ways, this is a coming-of-age, buddy flick; it's about making certain crucial "adjustments" and fully entering adulthood. In my opinion, the friendship is based on an unspoken mutual support; they both value the idea of clinging onto their artistic hopes despite the pressing needs of finding a way to support themselves and some kind of adult stability.
And of course the film is also about "moving on" -- and the loss of youthful male friendship. This road trip is, in effect, a wake for their friendship. As Jack intends to marry, both Miles and Jack realize (without ever mentioning it) that things will never be the same. Marriage is often the final nail in the coffin of friendship between men (as, often, with women). Later, there is even a quote from the novel, A Separate Peace, in which a funeral is described -- and in which the comparison is clearly drawn.
Anyway, a great film. A FUNNY film -- my review may have painted it as "gloomy" when it is not. It's VERY entertaining and lively. It's an unconventional, character-driven film for grown-ups that is FUN!
In addition to this movie, I also need recommend another Amazon pick, a comic novel, "THE LOSERS' CLUB: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, which deals with similar themes of loss and friendships while also managing to be quite funny, lively, and off the cuff. An easy read with short chapters and funny characters, set in pre-9/11 New York City. A great Amazon pick!