MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -3

In this comedic drama, Miles (Paul Giamatti) is an unassuming middle-school English teacher, novelist and wine connoisseur recovering from an emotional divorce. He takes his longtime college buddy and washed-up actor, Jack (Thomas Haden Church), on one last road trip before he gets married. In the Southern Californian wine country, Miles is reintroduced to a wine-savvy waitress, Maya (Virginia Madsen), and together they look forward to experiencing the many varieties of delicately diverse wines, while discussing every nuance of their personality and significance. Jack, on the other hand, has more carnal tastes to be satisfied and takes a little romp through the grapes with Stephanie (Sandra Oh), a wine-tasting room hostess. As the weeklong fling progresses, the men must come to terms with their reckless behavior and unfulfilled life expectations and reach for what is real and ultimately most fruitful.

Other than the beautiful scenery and mellow jazz music, its hard to find anything redeemable in this movie. Sideways is as slow moving and laborious as its dialog on viniculture. The storyline is sour, doesnt linger and, at best, is an acquired taste. Miles and Jack have not matured in their first 50 years of life, and neither has much to show for his prepubescent shenanigans. Both will say or do anything to get what they want or to stay out of trouble. Miles is the more virtuous of the two men, but he drinks excessively, lies and steals. He also reluctantly covers up his friends deplorable actions. Jack is responsible for most of the obscene language and actions in this film. Offensive language with more than 50 f-words, frontal nudity, sexual content and overall bad morals puts the cork on this movies fate and lands it right in Previews cellar.

Preview Reviewer: Brian Hughes
Fox Searchlight Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (12) times mild (hell 4, damn 1); strong (-ss 3, b-tch 1, -sshole 3)

Obscene Language: Many (76) times moderate (cr-p 1); strong (f-word 56, s-word 11, d-ck 2, j-off 1, c-ck 1, BS 1, other 3)

Profanity: Many (13) times moderate (OMG 1, L 1, G 2, G-sake 1); strong (GD 1, J 1, C 3, JC 2, C-sake 1)

Violence: Few times mild (one man chases another man down a hill); moderate (woman hits man in the face multiple times with a motorcycle helmet)

Sex: Several times mild (womans voice heard from another room implies sexual activity, man and woman heard moaning while in the midst of a sexual act, discussion of a sexual act between a man and woman, married man and woman talking in a naughty manner while in the bedroom); strong (unmarried man and woman engage in graphic sex with mans buttocks exposed, married man and woman completely nude engaged in graphic sexual activity)

Nudity: Several times mild (man sitting on a toilet with only head and legs shown, woman in tight shirt and bare midriff); moderate (women in bikinis dance and shake their bottoms and breasts, mans uncovered buttocks several times, womans exposed breasts); strong (full frontal and rear male nudity twice, full female nudity once)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times mild (man gives condoms to another man with the intention of being sexually active with women; youre a bad girl I know, I need to be spanked); moderate (you need to get laid, get your joint worked on, get your bone smooched, Im gonna get laid before I get married next week, tighter than a nuns ss); strong (two men talk about the mechanics of male/female coupling in an immature fashion while passing by a teenage boy who hears the conversation)

Drugs: Many times mild (drinking of various wines throughout the film); moderate (characters drink wine to the point of drunkenness on several occasions with the intent of becoming relaxed and uninhibited for sexual activity; woman smokes marijuana while socializing with adults in her home, hides the marijuana when her daughter walks in and starts smoking again when the daughter is gone); strong (man abuses drugs for depression in combination with drinking excessive amounts of wine)

Other: Lead characters in the film lie profusely to cover up their immature and irresponsible behavior, a man is shown purchasing an adult magazine and browsing through it in his hotel room (no nudity shown)

Running Time: 123 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.