The Big 5-0
Rebecca (Rachel Dratch) is turning 50 and Abby (Amy Poehler) has taken it upon herself to design the best birthday weekend ever.
The ladies arrive in Napa to do some serious drinking but they don’t take their drinking too seriously.
It’s all fun and games until the visit from the tarot card reader hits a little too close to home.
It seems each woman has brought her own special baggage on this trip, other than her supplements.
As the weekend progresses, the ladies must come to terms with some difficult truths. Facing job loss, a health scare, a less than stellar husband, etcetera, the second half of Wine Country is more about the drama of midlife and friendships tested than the sometimes raunchy fun of the first half.
Who among us couldn’t use a girls (or guys) weekend away? Wine Country is a girls trip and Saturday Night Live reunion rolled into one. From the director (Poehler) to the writers (Liz Cackowski, Emily Spivey) to the onscreen talent, all of the women involved in Wine Country have either been regular cast members or writers for SNL. What better way to get together with all your old work buddies than to go make a movie together.
Have we met?
Wine Country’s friend group of former Antonio’s Pizzeria employees features two faces I was unfamiliar with. Not that they haven’t had long careers in the entertainment industry, we just don’t always see them onscreen. Paula Pell who plays obligatory gay friend Val, has many more credits as a seasoned television writer than as an actress. She adds frisky fun to the mix, with wit and line delivery reminiscent of Melissa McCarthy. Emily Spivey, who cowrote the film also has a deeper set of writing than acting credits. Spivey plays Jenny, the fearful friend who is reluctantly dragged along by the others.
Tina Fey has a surprisingly small role as Napa local Tammy. Like a woodsy Yoda, Tammy offers words of wisdom to tourists even as she is somewhat awkward in her own social interactions.
The music of my formative years (from about 1980-1990) is heavily featured in this film. With the ladies choosing songs from their aptly named “DUI playlist,” the Wine Country soundtrack includes artists like The Bangles, The Pretenders, Bel Biv Devoe, Prince, Young MC and more.
Netflix has been featuring more and more shows about, written, directed and created by women. Additionally there has been an increased focus on
older mature women, with Lady Dynamite, Grace and Frankie, Dead to Me and now Wine Country. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one with wonky knees and perimenopause.