Couch Potato Pickings

Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church

Jack: If they want to drink Merlot, we’re drinking Merlot.
Miles: No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any Fxxxing Merlot!

Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church

Two 40something friends go on a road trip around California’s vineyards. Jack (Thomas Haden Church) is about to get married and keen to sow his wild oats, while Miles (Paul Giamatti) is eager to indulge the finer things in life, such as food and wine. Of course this leads to all sorts of mayhem, and their week-long trip doesn’t go in quite the direction they had imagined.

This funny and warm-hearted movie was a surprise hit in 2004, hugely celebrated by critics, and it won an Oscar. However, after the film’s release, sales of Merlot dropped in the UK, a trend that could be attributed to the disparaging remarks Miles makes in the movie about that grape variety. Click here to find out how Merlot-lovers fought back.

Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church

While I agree that this is a brilliantly funny and human film, there is one thing about the movie that I feel terribly uncomfortable about. It was barely mentioned at the time of the film’s release, but I think it’s important.

A road movie about wine means drinking and driving and that’s wrong, wrong, wrong.

Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church

If you fancy taking a similar trip yourself after watching this tonight, then make sure you hire a chauffeur.

Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church