Tuesday 21 May 2019

Wine Country review: 'a charming and appealingly messy Netflix comedy'

3 stars

Wine Country, Netflix
Wine Country, Netflix
Paul Whitington

Paul Whitington

A Saturday Night Live alumnus who’s best known for her film and TV collaborations with Tina Fey, Amy Poehler makes her directorial debut in Wine Country, a charming and appealingly messy Netflix comedy set in Napa Valley.

Abby (Ms. Poehler) and her friends Catherine (Ana Gasteyer), Val (Paula Pell), Jenny (Emily Spivey) and Naomi (Maya Rudolph) have come to the wine country to celebrate Rebecca’s (Rachel Dratz) 50th birthday.

They’ve been friends since college, but since then life has intervened, and they’re all under various strains.

Abby, a control freak, has just lost her job, and obsesses over the trip’s itinerary: the birthday girl is unhappily married, and Naomi has her own bad news to share. Poehler’s film could most obviously be compared to Sideways, to which it makes a passing reference, but it’s less stagey, more grown up.

And Maya Rudolph, a brilliant comic actress so often condemned to slight supporting roles, is given a chance to shine here, and does.

(Netflix, 103mins)

Also releasing this week:

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum review: 'Those fights scenes really are exceptional, astonishing feats of choreography' Birds of Passage review: 'extraordinary, visually stunning crime drama'

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