| Sideways (2004) |
I have been shocked to read all the press around the movie Sideways. Nina Garin, of the San Diego Union calls Jack and Miles "evil," but they aren't the only "evil" ones in this movie.
There's Stephanie (Sandra Oh), the single mother who smokes dope in front of her adolescent daughter. I can't believe that people actually think that, of the hundreds of guys Stephanie serves wine to every day, Jack is the first guy she has flirted with and taken to bed. Seemed like she had her game on pretty good from the start. And, to believe someone was going to marry her after a few nights in the sack - come on.
Stephanie is a violent woman and if was a man, she'd be in prison right now. But, because a man did something emotional to her, the women in the audience gave their approval without making any reference to her totally out-of-control behavior. Fifteen years ago men said that it's something the woman said or did that made them violent.
Today, the tables have turned so that it's totally acceptable to crush a man's scull or perform premeditated murder as the Dixie Chicks sing in "Goodbye Earl" (to the roars of approval from the women in their live concerts) a song they got a Grammy for. The fact that the Domestic Violence movement hasn't spoken out against either act speaks volumes. If you aren't part of the solution...
A second "evil" person that I haven't seen mentioned in any review is the wife of the trucker, a scam that is not unheard of and one where the date rape drug is now being used to incapacitate the man so it makes him easier to rob and then dump along the way. A pretty clean crime since few men, caught in a compromising situation, dare tell the police.
Sideways has its weaknesses. Both sexes acted despicably. And, that's pretty real. While we might wish we were more honest and sincere with each other, as many of the relationship books teach us, it's a game and most people still play it. A visit to any watering hole on a Friday or Saturday night will confirm that. Unfortunately for many couples, reality never kicks in after marriage and the games continue. I'll stop playing the game. Will you?
- Reviewed by Gordon Clay