What Could Have Made "Sideways" Better

by: Roger Barr

Hi there! I'm a shitty movie!Shut up. Shut up. Shut the hell up. If I hear just one more person talk about how great the movie "Sideways" is, I'm going to snap. Scratch that. I've already snapped, purchased a gun and my finger is just aching to pull the trigger on the next person who gives praise to that complete waste of 2 hours that they have the balls to call a film. Oh wait, you're one of them aren't you. You're one of the people that thinks the film is absolutely brilliant. Yeah, I can just picture you sipping on your goddamned Pinot as if you know jack about the wine industry. You're not a wine connoisseur so fuck the wine industry and fuck you, sport-o.

Now before I begin, let me say that I think Paul Giamatti is a good actor. I think the man has a lot of talent, but apparently he was a few grapes short of a bushel when he chose this role. Of course, he wouldn't dare say that, because his career has skyrocketed as a result of Sideways. We all knew he was good at playing losers, but I don't know who could possibly relate to his character in Sideways... let alone give a damn about him.

Now all I heard from people for months 'n months was how hilarious the movie was and how I needed to see it. So, I finally broke down and rented the friggin' thing. I'll be damned if there's anything even remotely interesting or funny about the movie. Not a single chuckle to be found. I walked away feeling like I had just wasted both my time and money getting absolutely nothing out of an unfunny, insanely over-hyped film about two whiny losers who go on a wine-tasting trip during a midlife crisis. And the critics were no different from the people who told me to see it... just look at some of these absurd reviews:

"The Best Comedy Of The Year"
  -Access Hollywood

"Here's the richest, funniest and perhaps most
  moving film of the year, featuring a performance
  from Paul Giamatti that should win him the Oscar."
  -Kansas City Star

"At the end of the movie we feel like seeing it
-Roger Ebert

"By far the year's best American movie."
  -Time Magazine

Well I've got a review of my own that I'd like to toss into the mix...

"You couldn't possibly get me drunk enough to watch this pseudo-intellectual tripe ever again, ok? So stick that avant-garde wine cork where the sun don't shine, sport." -Roger Barr, National Lampoon

Since I seem to be pretty much alone in my unrelenting hatred for this abomination, I figure the least I can do is offer up some suggestions on how they could easily make it more interesting. So, without further adieu, I present to you my suggestions for improving "Sideways"...

I'M FROM MERLOT MAFIA... BITCH! While the sales of Pinot have gone through the roof now that every yuppie on earth is buying it up to prove how fantastic their taste in wine is, the sales of Merlot have plummeted. So I suggest that when Paul Giamatti screams, "No, if anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!", the "Merlot Mafia" comes crashing through the restaurant window in a Hummer and quickly kills everyone in sight with spray of gunfire that doesn't subside for a good 5 minutes. And Paul's last words before he dies? "Fucking Merlot!"

Instead of having Thomas Hayden Church's character have second thoughts about his upcoming wedding because he wants to sleep around with more women, have him and Paul Giamatti both realize they're gay. Because nothing spells "hilarity" like a couple of drunk buddies who, while on a road trip, slowly come out of the closet. Comedy gold I tell ya, comedy gold...

If I find out you're drinking Merlot, I'll come back and kill you in your own kitchen.
Cameo by Steven Seagal who proudly displays his hatred for wine by getting in a fight with a bushel of grapes. But here's the kicker...
the grapes win the fight.

To further insult Merlot wines, Paul Giamatti empties the contents of a bottle of Merlot onto the ground and then fills the bottle with his own urine. He then pours himself a glass, chugs it down and proclaims, "You see? Now even THIS is better than fucking Merlot!"

Instead of Sandra Oh beating up Thomas Hayden Church when she learns that he's engaged, have her decide to confide in her friend Virginia Madsen. A look of absolute fury then comes over Virginia's face as she slowly walks over to a nearby mirror and speaks the words, "Candyman. Candyman. Candyman." Moments later, we cut to a scene of Candyman ripping out Thomas Hayden Church's spine with his big rusty hook.

EVERY time! At one of the vineyards, the owner leans over to Paul Giamatti all non-chalantly and whispers into his ear, "Don't like the Merlot eh? I've got something that I guarantee you won't get at any other wine-tasting session. You in?" Paul hesitantly agrees and the owner tells Paul to meet him out back. Minutes later the owner emerges from the rear entrance with a bottle covered by a cloth with rhinestones on it. "Are you ready to move up to the next level of tasting the finer things in life?" the owner asks and then he removes the cloth to reveal a glistening icy cold bottle of Colt 45.


Hey doc, my neck's getting stiff! Rotate the picture on the screen 90 degrees, so people actually have to watch it "Sideways". Critics will claim it is bar-none the most brilliant film in the history of mankind, and chiropractors around the world will see a dramatic increase in clientele. Everybody wins.

To come off as even more snooty when tasting wine, Paul Giamatti starts saying things that make no sense whatsoever to describe the flavor. For example, "It's as if Zeus came down from Shangri-la and thrust his groinage into my face while singing 'Home on the Range' for hours on end. This wine is absolutely splendid!"

After saying "Fucking Merlot!" one time too many, God commands Paul Giomatti to put up or shut up. Paul then drops his trousers and has his way with the Merlot. "Fucking Merlot!"

The two friends decide to cut the wine-tasting trip short when the stumble onto a miniature golf course that transports them into another dimension when they happen to sink a hole-in-one. In an ironic twist, the dimension they end up stuck in is a place where the people there do nothing but watch the movie "Sideways" 24 hours a day. A fitting torturous end for our leading men.

raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar! As they walk through a vineyard, Paul and Thomas discover a manhole cover. Confused as to what a manhole cover is doing in the middle of a vineyard, they both decide to lift it up to get a closer look. Just then a C.H.U.D. monster pops out, eats their faces, then turns to the screen and proclaims with a big thumbs up, "Fucking Merlot!"

And there you have it. Make these simple additions to the film and you've got yourself a guaranteed winner. And before I leave you alcoholics, I'd like to make a toast:

ooo la la!
Here's to you, Sunmaid. You can ferment my grapes any time you want, baby.