On May 10, Netflix released an original comedy titled, “Wine Country,” directed by, produced by and starring Amy Poehler.
The film tells the story of six longtime friends, Abby (Poehler), Rebecca (Rachel Dratch), Catherine (Ana Gasteyer), Naomi (Maya Rudolph), Val (Paula Pell) and Jenny (Emily Spivey). The group connected years prior, when they worked at the same pizza restaurant, but had since been swept up in their own lives, making it difficult to spend time together as a whole.
In an attempt to reconnect with one another, the group spends a weekend together full of wine and laughter in Napa Valley while reminiscing about their youth. However, tension begins to build as the weekend continues and the women realize they have issues with each other that have been left alone for years.
For the most part, the film does well maintaining a steady pace throughout each scene, which portrays the storyline harmoniously and keeps the audience’s interests. A restaurant scene within the first 30 minutes of the story is excluded from this steady pace, though. It lasts much longer than needed, ultimately disrupting the harmony and interest of the story.
Despite the hefty number of protagonists, the film does well ensuring each woman in the group is equipped with distinct characteristics. This not only helps differentiate the characters from one another, but it also adds depth to the plot. It alludes to the theme that they all play an important role in maintaining their sacred friendship.
Though comedy is the film’s official genre and is most prominent throughout the story, “Wine Country” still includes serious aspects demonstrated through the different struggles the women face in their everyday lives. Many of the problems faced by the characters are results of their age, which restricts the film’s range of relatability. All viewers, however, are able to relate to the film’s strong portrayal of friendship, which increases the chance of feeling a connection to the story.
The issues each of the women face ironically end up being the group’s saving grace. When reunited, each of the women stubbornly try to hide the difficult parts of their lives as well as any form of criticism they may have towards each other. However, hiding these things proves to be too much when an inevitable argument breaks through, leaving everyone vulnerable and forced to face any frustration felt in the group.
Overall, the film was quite comedic and provided a strong message of the importance of friendship. Though “Wine Country” has its fair share of flaws, the film is still worth watching.