Friday, Dec. 17, 2004


When happy, horny Jack (Thomas Haden Church) and his deliciously depressed pal Miles (Paul Giamatti) drive up the California coast for a week of buddy bonding, Miles just wants to savor the local wines, and Jack the local women. They get sooooo much more. From this not-so-hot premise comes a comedy alive at every moment to the intoxicating properties of friendship, romance and Pinot Noir. Director Alexander Payne elicits charismatic work from both men and from the sexy, gloriously weathered Virginia Madsen. They play people so quirky and beguiling, you want to spend a life with them; two hours isn't nearly enough.