Sideways Blu-ray Review

Review By Nathan Leigh

Sideways is a bitter sweet romantic comedy with unforgettable characters.   I recommend it to those interested in plumbing the serious emotional issues of mid-life.

Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church) are former college roommates and best friends.  Miles takes Jack of a bachelor’s vacation to the wine country in California in the weeks before Jack’s wedding to a wealthy young heiress.

During their travels we learn that Miles is a middle school English teacher who has been unable to get his book published.  He has been unable to forgive himself for his divorce which is particularly galling to him because his lovely ex-wife has remarried and is expecting a child.  He is sympathetic.  He wants to do something nice for his friend Jack.  In the process, you can see Miles try to bury the pain of his own perceived life’s failures on his face.

Jack, on the other hand, is a womanizer who wants to get laid as many times as possible on his trip before tying the knot.  He is good looking and outgoing, albeit older, and still seeks to capitalize on his status as an actor with the opposite sex.  When pressed, he indicates he merely did voice over work in commercials.

The two meet the soulful Maya (Virginia Madsen), who is also a divorcee, and the sexually charged and playful Stephanie (Sandra Oh), a mother out of wedlock.  Jack immediately hooks up with Stephanie for an intense physical relationship and professes to love her, but he is not honest with her about his engagement.  Miles romance with Maya is deeper – the two connect on a spiritual level and later have a night of passion.

Before the film’s finale Mile’s must risk loosing Maya, Jack will question his future, and Miles’ and Jack’s friendship is tested.

The Disc comes with a featurette on the making of the film and an entertaining in-picture commentary by Paul Giamatti and Thomas Hayden Church.  Also included are deleted scenes.

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