The newly added comedy to Netflix, Wine Country features a star-studded cast of bonafide comedic actresses, and though the film is genuinely funny at times, it doesn’t always hit its mark.
The movie begins with a frantic and excited group phone call between Abby, Rebecca, Catherine, Naomi, Val, and Jenny (Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, Paula Pell, and Emily Spivey). They’re planning Rebecca’s 50th birthday, and are all enthusiastic about escaping their lives for a weekend and going to a luxurious house in Napa Valley. While on their wine bender, they learn many lessons about accepting age and keeping their friends close through somewhat humorous ordeals. Unfortunately, while the leading actresses are all capable of making this movie a side-splitting romp, much of the comedy has timing issues, and many moments that are meant to be funny just fall flat. On top of this, much of the movie, save for the art gallery scene and the climax, is fairly dull, not the type of exciting comedy one would expect from some of the lead roles.
Besides this, the movie actually does hold a couple strong central themes about how you should accept the coming of age, and the importance of keeping your friends close no matter what’s going on in your life. This is demonstrated by Rebecca, the one turning 50, who spends the whole weekend brushing aside the fact that she is getting older and drawing attention away from her birthday. This is until a stunning revelation that she experiences later in the film that causes her to accept her age and help her friends unite after a vicious dispute. It is times like these where the movie really shines, providing a simple moral through understandable, though often outlandish ordeals such as staring into the eyes of a family raccoon for several hours (trust me, it doesn’t make much sense in the movie either).
In conclusion, Wine Country is a decent but problematic comedy that misses a portion of its punchlines, yet in the end provides the lesson that you should accept age and never draw away from your friends. Though I have several issues with this movie, I can at least agree that it isn’t too bad.