b Papa Dog's Blog: A Movie I Sort of Lived Once

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A Movie I Sort of Lived Once

This past Sunday, Mama Dog and I went to the movies, but not together – we went in shifts, each staying home with Baby Dog while the other went out. I did the noonish shift, while she caught the 4:15 – still at a reasonable matinée price. The movie in question was Sideways, and it’s probably the best movie I’ve seen this year (though of course we haven’t seen many since Baby Dog debuted). I suppose I have to admit that my affinity for the movie stems from a recognition of the familiar.

It’s a buddy road movie, and the dynamic between the buddies – bookish Miles and tomcat Jack – reminds me more than a little of the Odysseys that Sebastian and I undertook during my seasons adrift. Like me at that time, Miles is divorced (we hadn’t yet signed the papers, but it amounted to the same thing), depressed, filled with self-loathing, and slowly coming to terms with the reality that he’s unlikely to ever have a career as a writer. Like Sebastian, Jack is an opportunistic poonhound with a laser focus on the same key issue at any given moment of the day: where’s the next potential receptacle? There are differences. I’d rather drink scotch than wine and Sebastian wouldn’t bother lying to a woman about his feelings or intentions, but a lot in the way they relate to each other is strikingly familiar. In his review of the movie, Roger Ebert says “their friendship endures because together they add up to a relatively complete person.” I remember saying almost that exact same thing to Sebastian ten years ago. The way I put it was, “Between the two of us, we make one pretty decent human being.”

Sebastian, man, I doubt we have any more Odysseys coming up. I’m kind of into sticking to one spot for the foreseeable future. But go see this one. I think, in a weird way, that it’ll take you back.


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