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May 27, 2005

"Your complaints have been noted with management."

Jack was in a bad mood tonight. I got home from work and he was doing his best "Mr. Fussy Pants" imitation. As far as we could tell it was just a generally cranky disposition. Maybe it's the weather?

A bath helped some. Jack always grabs his favorite toys and splashes around which puts him in a good mood. He's so much larger compared to what he was like when we gave him baths in the little tub or the baby bathtub.

After tucking away Jack we headed down to the basement to watch a movie that the Poker Widow lent Fabulous Babe: Sideways.

This is the movie that everyone raved about shortly before the Oscars. Set in California wine country it's the story of a couple of guys having a week off before one gets married. They meet two women and the movie chronicles the events between the four of them during the course of the week.

I thought the two standout performances were Thomas Haden Church as the morally bankrupt Jack and Virginia Madsen as the deeper than originally presented waitress Maya. Sandra Oh's character was solid but overshadowed by events involving Jack. Paul Giamatti's character seemed to come from the typical Hollywood mold for depressed divorced men but he handled it well.

I thought the film was a movie for wine enthusiasts more than anything. It rolls out like a love story to the art of winemaking. As Giamatti delivers his various insights into wine I understood why the movie was so well regarded among the California wine and cheese set.

At times you're left with the impression that it was originally written as a stage play. The dialogue certainly works that way and the scenes compliment the perception. Watching the movie I was imagining how I would have blocked out the movement and how I would have decorated the sets.

When I was younger I used to really like Virginia Madsen but her career never really took off the way you would hope for someone. Here's hoping this movie leads to some better parts and work for her. She's gone from a "hot" starlet to an actress with some serious talent and that's not easy.

At one point we were reminded why Thomas Haden Church was the only reason to have ever watched "Wings" on a regular basis. His natural ability to channel a clueless doofus is a rare talent. Network television should seek him back out.

Fabulous Babe and I both liked the movie. (She more than I.) The rough spots are sanded smooth by the movies end which is pretty good these days. If you're looking for a nice movie for a rainy night in front of the fire or something to watch while you're knocking back a bottle of Mertlot this is just the right fare.

Posted by Jim at May 27, 2005 12:36 AM


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