By Courtney Cochran
Japan, it seems, has an insatiable appetite for vinous entertainment. Indeed, wine sales in the tiny island country are on the up, a fact fueling the production of novel wine narratives such as comic-book sensation “Kami no Shizuku” (AKA “The Drops of God,” about a heroic journey to find the best wines in the world) – as well as not-so-novel narratives like the soon-to-be-released Japanese remake
of the Academy Award-winning, American film Sideways
, also slated to be called…Sideways
When New Isn’t So New
With its Japanese cast, Napa Valley location and hybrid American-Japanese studio backing, the film is proving to be quite the mesh of the innovative and the already-done, a fact that doesn’t seem to worry Alexander Payne, writer and co-director of the original film. In an interview with the International Herald Tribune
, which reported on the remake, the American scribe joked “I don’t know a damn thing about it, but I hope it’s better than the original” – an impossibility since the film is being sanctioned by the original studio. “No, I’m really delighted,” he continued, “I got a check for it, and the check cleared.”What You Will and Won’t See On Screen
According to Wine Industry Insight
, the new film will keep the original plot intact – with Napa Valley taking the place of Santa Barbara in terms of location, though the famous Merlot rant from the original has been cut. What you will
get more of in the new film are product placements (snore), which are rumored to be numerous and blatant.
Fortunately, they’ve also kept some of the first film’s more raucous moments – including the famous wine-spittoon guzzle.