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\"Sideways\" at Blue Mouse

The Cans Film Festival pours the next one

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“Sideways” is the next film screened as part of The Cans Film Festival, the Emergency Food Network and Food Connection’s food-theme movie festival — each film matched with a coupon to a local restaurant — to raise awareness to fight hunger. Thursday, June 14, “Sideways” will screen at the Blue Mouse Theatre with Harmon Brewery and Restaurant coupons floating smartly.

If you don’t know by now, “Sideways” is a story about longtime friends Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church) who spend a “boys” week in Santa Barbara’s wine country on the eve of impending doom: Jack’s marriage. As the two march their way through Santa Rosa, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, Buellton and Solvang, it emerges that Miles is primarily looking to taste great wines with an old college roommate while Jack is less interested in the wine than the pretty women who often pour it.

But Miles and Jack are also two archetypical wine types. And I found myself throughout the movie trying to determine with which one I identified more. I’m certainly capable of the type of wine snobbery that Paul Giamatti’s character Miles exhibits throughout “Sideways.” There are certain rules and techniques to which I try to adhere when tasting wine. I do swirl the glass to oxygenate the wine before sipping; I do stick my schnozz down deep into the wineglass to savor the wine’s “nose;” I do “chew” the wine in my mouth before spitting or swallowing. But I’m more like Thomas Haden Church’s “Sideways” character Jack insofar as I believe wine is to be enjoyed, not studied. I swallow and rarely spit. And as Jack says about virtually every wine he encounters during the foray through Santa Barbara’s wine country, “Tastes pretty good to me!”

And ultimately, it was Stephanie — Miles’ pseudo lady in “Sideways” I warmed to and identified with most. Stephanie seems to have a lust for life and a lust for wine, whereas Miles mostly lusts just for wine and Jack simply lusts. For wine lovers of all types, “Sideways” is a movie to lust after, maybe even savor … like fine wine. — Jake de Paul

[Blue Mouse Theatre, Thursday, June 14, 7 p.m., $15, 2611 N. Proctor St., Tacoma, 253.584.1040]

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