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Friday is wine day – Pretentious movies and all

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I have been told Fridays are wine tasting days here at Super U. Needless to say I’m looking forward to this, and with wine on the mind I instantly thought about a film that has bothered me for a number of years, that being Sideways. Truth be told I never really gave Sideways a fare shake due to its irrational bashing of Merlot wine. Although by no means a Merlot lover I am shocked whenever I hear how much the movie effected the sale of Merlot. Due to this I have posted a video in defense of Merlot. I don’t exactly agree with all of the opinions said on the podcast, but I am also not a wine nut, I just appreciate a glass or six every now and then.

Surely you’re asking “What does this have to do with being a movie lover?” well…

Its scary to think that a movie has the kind of effect on people. In a desperate attempt to sound cool people will take whatever interested them in something as gospel. In the case of movies, thanks to Hollywood, this influence is usually a poor one. No one really wants to hear the fine details of a trend, so movie producers take the sexiest parts and throw away the rest. In the case of Sideways the plot needed a whipping boy for comedic effect. My guess is poor Merlot happened to be the closest thing in sight. This is even more apparent when at the end of the movie the wine Paul Giamatti covets so much is a Merlot (thats a bit of trivia for all you wine / movie freaks out there).

Why does this bother? Simply put I’m tired of movies being pretentious when they often have no right to be. On paper Sideways is a fantastic movie. It had a cute script, great actors, and got released at the right time. Only thing that bites me is somewhere along the line the whole thing starts to come off like its above its audience. Many movies do this, and even if they are help up by critics as the greatest film since Raging Bull I seem to walk away with a chip on my shoulder.

Recently I was recommended a film by the name of A Cock and Bull Story: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy. The movie in question is a British comedy and early into the film it seemed to have a lot of potential. Unfortunately as the film wore on it wallowed in its own cleverness a bit to much. Somehow it went from a rather smart piece of cinema to something that resembled a party goer that managed to get the room to laugh early in the evening, and then spent the rest of the night admiring itself for that oh so humors thing it did however many minutes ago. Unfortunately this is not even the worst offender on my list of movies that had potential but rubbed me the wrong way.

After hearing the endless buzz around Juno I was exited to see the film. Everyone and their dog were praising it for all the right reasons. Not only that but the writer of the screen play is a bit of an underdog and it just worked in terms of a feel good story of the year. Sadly upon watching the film I couldn’t help but feel as if my contemporaries were blinded by the ‘feel good’ aspect and failed to notice the whole thing tried way to hard to be hip. Everyone knows the number one rule of being cool is trying to be cool will result in an instant fail. Thus no matter how many poles Diablo Cody gyrated on prior to becoming a success it doesn’t change the fact that Juno was an average film.

In short what I am trying to say is that if you are a filmmaker, please on behalf of all the film lovers out, there stop letting your films become bigger then the audience you made them for. Get your facts straight, tone down the smugness, and most of all be prepared to make fun of yourself. Otherwise I for one am not going to be watching…


Written by superuwatchers

August 22, 2008 at 3:40 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Sideways is a pretentious film and the featured wine, Hitching Post is not very good.


    August 27, 2008 at 10:06 am

  2. […] on prior blog entries its clear I’m not a big fan of Juno. That said I didn’t despise it either, nor do I […]

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