Mrs. Geek and I caught the film Sideways last night for a Valentine's Day Weekend date. All I can say is: wow.
I've seen movies before that center on food and drink. Many of them (like Chocolat) either skimp on the food and drink, the characters, or both. In spite of the fact that Sideways is a tiny little film, it does neither. As the characters talked about wine and the spell it wove in their lives, I found myself wanting a wine glass in my hand so I could feel delicate and complicated flavors occasionally move across my tongue. In that and its very humanly flawed humor, it was a feast for the senses.
I found myself strongly sympathizing with the main character, Miles (played by Paul Giamatti.) Miles' buddy Jack (played by Thomas Haden Church) is the charming cad, the somtimes shallow, good looking guy who knows instantly how to connect with others around him -- especially women. Miles is good hearted and charming too, in his own way... but getting to know him is a slower, slightly harder thing to do. So when Miles and Jack meet two women (Maya and Stephanie) and go to dinner together, it is Jack and Stephanie who end up having noisy, enthusiastic sex right away... while Miles and Maya remove themselves to a couple of chairs on a front porch and discuss their mutual passion for wine. As the evening ends, yes they do kiss, but Miles also gives Maya a manuscript for the novel he's been writing for the last three years.
I am not Miles. I do not have his neuroses and his almost crippling sense of depression. Yet I understand some of his struggles. I've been the Sancho Panza sidekick to more than one charming Don Quixote friend who can light up a room when he walks in. I can also understand how damaging it can be to pour years of your life into writing something... knowing that then must be accepted and approved before you can successfully move on. Lastly, I know the desire to be among people who really understand you, the frustration of how difficult it can be to find such people, and the elation that is felt when such a person is found and a connection is made. The movie is but a very thin slice of Miles' life... and I found it rather easy to fill in the untold parts of Miles' story with some of my own.
It is therefore no surprise that I felt glad that I have found Mrs. Geek as the movie progressed. Miles seems the sort of fellow who can feel alone in a crowded room. I've felt that way over the years too. With Mrs. Geek, I know I never need be alone again... because she is with me. There can never be just me in a crowded room anymore, we are together.
on 2005-02-13 at 10:57 a.m.
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