Jenise wrote:My feelings exactly. I actually liked Thomas Hayden Church's character better than Giamatti's--I hate morose sad sacks, and Miles was that. I found it implausible that Virginia would be attracted to him; at least, once she got to know him. Church did a great job with his character--he turned a dimwit rounder into someone big-hearted enough to be likable--if it weren't for that, none of us would have had enough fun to sit through the movie.
Taking up the cudgel for the movie just a little bit, the Central Coast photography was outstanding - next best thing to being there. And I'm going to step out on a limb and suggest that Payne did a surprisingly good job of portraying - and skewering - both over-the-top wine geeks and their tastings AND the tour-bus phenomenon in the California wine country.
Finally, look at Payne's overall body of work. I think most of the movies he wrote are good, but not everyone agrees. One thing they have in common, though: From Sideways, About Schmidt, Election and Citizen Ruth all have in common that they take essentially unlikeable characters and somehow gets us to care about them.