This amazing little film is entertaining, funny and a bit sad, celebrating the wonderful gifts of life – writing, companionship, wine and above all human endeavor despite the odds in a gentle, heartwarming way.

Sideways is a story of two buddies, Miles and John, who decide to spend a week in wine country in California. Miles is trying to escape the phone from his publisher and John is trying to escape from his upcoming marriage. This odd couple has a very different understanding and expectation of this outing. The film tells the tale of the unfolding of a series of entertaining events that are funny, disturbing and sad but always entertaining.

Alexander Pyne (Election, About Schmidt) directs this film with lot of emotion and cutting dialogue and continues his tradition of telling tales about identifiable losers.

Paul Giamatti seems to continue his role from American Splendor albeit with more zest and a greater sense of loss. A divorced, failed writer, wine connoisseur, a sensitive man who is cajoled by life to give up his sensibilities and simply accept the rites of passage. Miles (Paul Giamatti) is a lot of things but not a conformist. He can accept his faith but will not agree with it. John is a regular failed Hollywood actor who accepts his faith rather too readily and exploits it as much as he can.

The charm of the film is not really in the story but in the eccentricities of the two friends specially Miles and their often hilariously charming conversations. If ever a movie relied on the sole propeller of dialogue to move forward it is Sideways.