Monday, February 09, 2009
Watched the film Sideways at the weekend. It was very good, most enjoyable, very funny, great performances.
But in terms of the writing craft one scene really stood out as quite wrong. Early in the film, as they are starting out on their week-long trip, they stop off at Miles's mother's house. There, we see him steal a wad of money from her secret hiding place. This suggest he has done it before. In the next scene, his mother offers him money, so it is clear he didn't need to steal from her. Therefore, it seems to me that the viewer is being clearly told that this is significant, that the character is no-good (stealing from your mother? What a sin!) and that, surely, he would get his comeuppance later.
But it is never referred to again, and in the course of the film it is evident that Miles is actually, beneath his depression and unhappiness, a decent guy. So what was the purpose of that scene? It doesn't seem to fit the rest of the film. Worse, it actually gives a completely wrong impression. It feels like a clunky piece of writing. I'm very curious as to what the writer intended by it.