August 6, 2008, - 8:48 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Earlier in the day, I posted my review of “Pineapple Express.” Forgot that two other movies are debuting at theaters, today:
* “Bottle Shock“: This is ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES OF THE YEAR, definitely in my top five, thus far. Based on a great true story, it is patriotic, pro-American, anti-French, funny, and good all-around. It reminds us of what makes America great and what we need a lot more of at this time–our can-do spirit.
Set during our nation’s Bicentennial in 1976, Alan Rickman–the raging anti-Israel fanatic (thanks to reader Facts of Life for that tip)–plays a Brit expat in France, looking for a way to get respect in Paris and customers into his wine shop and academy. With help from an American expat (Dennis Farina), he comes up with the idea of a blind taste test–American wines from Napa Valley versus French wines.
Rickman travels to the Napa Valley and meets with several vintners to taste their wines. They think he’s a snob, but soon discover that he’s fair and has taken a liking to some of their wines.
The movie focuses on the characters of Chateau Montelena, a Napa Valley winery in debt and barely surviving. It is the dream of Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman), a lawyer who leaves a thriving law firm where he is partner to struggle and realize his dream of producing fine American wine. His hot, loser son, Bo (Chris Pine) is more than he appears, but is a hustler when we see him at the beginning of the movie. Then, there is Gustavo, the Mexican winery-hand, who has developed his own wine on the side, and Sam (Rachael Fox), the gorgeous summer intern, who is the object of desire of both Gustavo and Bo.
Best dialogue in the movie, is when Bo and his father are talking about Bo’s lifestyle. Bo can’t remember the name of a woman he slept with the night before:
Bo: I slept with a person, not a name.
Jim (his dad): It’s 1976. Woodstock was seven years ago.
Other great line, from Alan Rickman, as the British Frenchman:
Why don’t I like you? It’s because you think I’m an a–hole. And I’m really not. It’s just that I’m British and you’re not.
And finally, this line, when the Americans win the blind French wine tasting competition:
We have shattered the myth of the invincible French wine.
You don’t have to know anything about wine–I don’t–to love this movie. And you will learn a lot. The title, “Bottle Shock”, is what happens to wine when it rolls around in the cargo section of a plane. That’s elemental to a portion of the movie that shows part of what makes America great.
I cannot say enough great things about this charming, proud-to-be-American movie. I laughed and cheered. You will, too. GO SEE IT!!!!
* “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2“: Oy, this is like “Sex & The City” lite for teen girls. Gag. There is only one White man in this movie, and has a bad father. But maybe White men should be happy, since every other guy in this movie is basically a girlie-man tool-ette.
While the first installment of this movie was somewhat charming–but mostly annoying (and promoted the idea of a teen girl practically raping her counselor at soccer camp), this sequel is insipid and even more annoying.
The movie has more crying, whining, pouting, shouting, screaming, and drama than five decades of SoapNet. Make it stop. Please.
We now find the four homely 17-year-old girls–who had a pair of pants that miraculously fit all of them perfectly–are older and in college. The Peurto Rican one (America Ferrera from “Ugly Betty”) is a clumsy drama costumer, who lucks out and gets the leading role in a summer Shakespeare play in Vermont. The goth one (Amber Tamblyn) is forever angry and pouty over her Korean boyfriend and the unprotected sex they had.
The only decent-looking one–the blonde–is on a summer archeology dig with unrealistic, moderate Muslims in Turkey, but leaves to meet the grandmother whose letters were hidden from her. And the Greek one learns to draw at summer art school, and goes back and forth between relationships with a nude Black model and her Greek true love who got married because he made someone pregnant.
Yup, you really want your girls to see this movie, right?
Insipid, stupid, pointless, and bad for young girls. If this is grrrlpower, I’m glad I’ve long been an adult.