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Travel Movie Tuesday: 'Sideways'

June 3, 2014 at 11:47 AM | by | ()

From Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck falling in love in Rome to Julia Roberts circling the globe to find herself, film has played an important role in shaping both the golden years and current day of travel. Thus, we present our newest series, Travel Movie Tuesday, where we detail the most inspiring travel films.

A movie about two middle-aged men traveling through California's wine country might not sound like much fun if you're not a huge oenophile, but we'd say the 2004 hit film, "Sideways", is more than just a mid-life crisis story. It stars Paul Giamatti as Miles Raymons, an unsuccessful writer and wine afficianato, and Thomas Haden Church as Jack Cole, Miles' actor-friend planning to get married the next week. The two plan an elaborate trip into Santa Ynez Valley to relax and sip some perfect Pinot noir, not Merlot.

During their time in the rolling hills outside of Santa Barbara, Jack announces his need for one final "fling" before he ties the knot. Thus, he drags Miles along for the ride, even though he just wants to throwback some legendary vintages. The pair meet two women, Maya (Virginia Madsen) and Stephanie (Sandra Oh) with whom they eventually develop a connection, resulting in a full-fledged affair between Jack and Stephanie. When she finds out that he is not actually single, she breaks his nose with her motorcycle helmet.

While trying to escape the stress of real life, Miles finds out his manuscript gets rejected again and, naturally, after a few too many wines, creates a scene in a restaurant and runs into the arms of another woman. We won't spill any more spoilers, but have a bottle or two of your own to pour during the drama.

Sales of Pinot Noir increased 20% during the 4 month period following the movie, and the Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau still offers up maps for visitors looking to trace the steps of the movie's characters. For those looking to swirl the same sips from the movies, head to Sanford, Hitching Post and Firestone Wineries.

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