Tue 12 April 2005 // 19:00 *

(Alexander Payne / 2004 / USA / 123mins / Cert 15)
(tues 12th / 7&9pm / £2ttt)

Miles Raymond, a failed writer and divorcé who teaches junior high school English takes his best friend, former hot actor Jack, on a weeklong drive up to California's wine country. There they explore the nature of their failures and question their relationships. Jack, about to get married, has an affair with a woman and wonders whether he should call off his wedding. Miles questions whether or not he made the right choice while trying to form a relationship with the woman's best friend, a fellow oenophile who is a waitress at a restaurant that he frequents often when visiting that part of the country.
As in his earlier film About Schmidt, Payne takes an unflinching and
unsentimental look at flawed human behaviour and the challenges of getting old that manages to neither pander to audience expectation or deliver some shallow homily that somehow everything will work out okay. And it is a film guaranteed to make even the hardened tee-totaller want to quaff Pinot.