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Bottle Shock (2008)
Based on a true story of love, victory, and fermentation
Filmmaker(s): Randall Miller

Paris-based wine expert Steven Spurrier heads to California in search of cheap wine that he can use for a blind taste test in the French capital. Stumbling upon the Napa Valley, the stuck-up Englishman is shocked to discover a winery turning out top-notch chardonnay. Determined to make a name for himself, he sets about getting the booze back to Paris.

Bottle Shock (2008)


Beware of these sorts of things. Something happens that when it happens around you, it seems pretty interesting. When someone thinks “they should make a movie out of this” usually they are wrong.

The supposedly interesting thing here is that a California wine won a French tasting contest. Also that willing passengers hand-carried the bottles so they would not get jostled.

But that’s neither interesting nor cinematic.

So we have:

— a story about a man at the end of his rope, who is redeemed,

— the hippy worthless kid who finds himself (or so it seems),

— the Hispanic kid who “has wine in his blood” and who escapes the field (we suppose),

— the cute girl with a “bad heart” who finds true love,

— the British wine enthusiast who proves himself to the French (thereby subverting the California story).

All of these built on the same scaffold of redemption.

None of these threads get much more elaborate than its line above. None of them go far enough for us to complete in our imagination. None wins any contest, though there are plenty of speeches about how rich the wine should be.

Posted in 2009

Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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