Review: WINE COUNTRY Is A Refreshingly Fun Comedy About Friendship

FIRST IMPRESSION

Wine Country is a relaxing film to watch because of the positive message, great characters, and consistently funny humor.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Wine Country is a new film serving as the directorial debut of Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation). Starring Poehler and some of her frequent co-stars, the movie is about a group of longtime friends who rent a house in Napa Valley for a weekend to celebrate one of their birthdays, only for tensions to arise.

The story of this film is definitely minimal, with a greater focus being placed on the humor and emotional arc. In all honesty, the only purpose of the story is to get these people in the same place at the same time. You could change the set-up or even the location and it would be pretty much the exact same movie. However, despite the simplicity of the story, it is effective because this is a light and easy-to-watch film, and there aren’t many good examples of that coming out as of late.

There is a ton of comedy in this movie, most of it relying on the relationship between the characters. However, the styles of comedy in the film are much more diverse than that in much of the other movies in which Poehler stars, and as such, more of it lands. There is some raunchy humor, some slapstick humor, and some drunken humor, among other things. The film has plenty to laugh at for everyone, which is part of what makes it so relaxing.

Another reason why the movie works so well is its character development. In something that is rare for ensemble films, there isn’t one character that is dominant in terms of screen time or development. All of the ladies at the center of the movie are given plenty of room for growth and to connect with the audience. Their relationship also goes a long way in making their story compelling.

wine country bus
Photo Credit: Colleen Hayes.

The film’s message is also quite touching. The movie is heavily about embracing who you are, no matter your age, identity, or anything else that would hold you back. Without feeling like it is preaching or having token characters, the film feels very inclusive. Additionally, the movie’s message about the importance of friendship is very effective too.

The actors all do a very good job in the film. The actresses are all playing parts similar to what they have done before, albeit with much more emotional nuance and complexity. The cast is obviously having a ton of fun, and they build off of each other’s strengths. Some of the highlights in the main cast include Paula Pell and Maya Rudolph. The supporting cast is great too, especially Cherry Jones and Jason Schwartzman, who give hilarious turns.

On a technical level, the movie was solid enough to accomplish its goals. As a director, it seems like Poehler will be great at getting strong performances out of her actors. Additionally, the film doesn’t feel as overindulgent as the debuts of actors-turned-directors usually do. The cinematography of the movie is simple, but effective. There are a few problematic shots with heads cut off, but other shots do an excellent job of capturing the beautiful scenery of Napa Valley (the film was shot on location). Additionally, the movie’s soundtrack is great, with the songs chosen doing a great job of creating a fun tone.

Overall, Wine Country was an enjoyable comedy. It isn’t anything revolutionary, but for what it is, it’s pretty great. The character work is excellent and there are tons of laughs. Be sure to check this one out when it is available on Netflix.

Wine Country opens in select theaters on May 8 and drops on Netflix on May 10.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Mrs. America | Season 1: Bella Preview | FX

Battles can get nasty. Watch Mrs. America April 15, exclusively on FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more Mrs. America clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX Mrs. America recounts the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and the unexpected backlash led by Phyllis Schlafly, aka “the sweetheart of the silent majority.” Through the eyes of the women…

What We Do In The Shadows | Season 2: Nudie Preview | FX

Look. Admire. But never touch. What We Do In The Shadows returns for an all-new season 4/15 on FX. Next day – FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more What We Do in the Shadows clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX What We Do in the Shadows follows four vampires who’ve “lived” together for hundreds of years. In Season…

Katy Keene | Season 1 Episode 9 | Chapter Nine: Wishin’ & Hopin’ Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes on Thursdays and stream Katy Keene from the beginning, free only on The CW: https://go.cwtv.com/KATgenyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About KATY KEENE: Fashion legend-to-be Katy Keene (Lucy Hale), singer/songwriter Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), performer Jorge Lopez/Ginger, and “It Girl” Pepper Smith — as they chase their twenty-something dreams in New York City…together. Connect with…

My Brilliant Friend: After The Party (Season 2 Episode 3 Clip) | HBO

The party was a bust. Just a room full of snobs and old stuff. New episodes of My Brilliant Friend, based on the second of Elena Ferrante’s bestselling Neapolitan novels, air Mondays at 10pm ET. #HBO #MyBrilliantFriend #MyBrilliantFriendHBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 When the most important friend in her life seems to have…

Auditions – The Backflip | Cake | FXX

Nailed it? Watch all new episodes of Cake Thursdays at 10p on FXX and next day on FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more Cake clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX Cake is a handcrafted assortment of bite-sized content served up to viewers as a tasty treat for the mind. Featuring a diverse array of narratives from storytellers both…

Outlander | Caitriona Balfe on Claire’s New Surgery | STARZ

Claire’s got a brand new surgery. Hear Caitriona Balfe talk about her new space at Fraser’s Ridge. Watch new episodes of Outlander Sundays only on STARZ. #Outlander #STARZ Watch Outlander now on the STARZ App: https://starz.tv/32s4aGT Subscribe now for more Outlander content: http://bit.ly/1kalhP0 Like Outlander on Facebook:http://starz.tv/OutlanderFacebookYT Follow Outlander on Twitter: http://bit.ly/OutlanderTwitterYT Follow Outlander on…

Normal People Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original

It’s Not Like This With Other People. Normal People, a Hulu Original series, premieres all episodes April 29. ABOUT NORMAL PEOPLE: Based on Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel, Normal People is an exquisite, modern love story about how one person can unexpectedly change another person's life and about how complicated intimacy can be. It follows Marianne…

Into the Dark: Pooka 2: Pooka Lives – Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original

THE MEME MAKES A KILLING. #IntoTheDark: Pooka Lives premieres April 3rd. SUBSCRIBE TO HULU’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL Click the link to subscribe to our channel for the latest shows & updates: http://www.youtube.com/hulu?sub_confi START YOUR FREE TRIAL http://hulu.com/start FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hulu/ Hulu on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hulu Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hulu
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here