Wine Country (film)
Official release poster
|Directed by||Amy Poehler|
|Edited by||Julie Monroe|
Wine Country is a 2019 American comedy film produced and directed by Amy Poehler, in her feature directorial debut. She stars alongside Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, Emily Spivey, Jason Schwartzman, and Tina Fey, as the plot follows a group of middle-aged women who go on a wine tasting tour in California. It was released in select theaters on May 8, 2019, and digitally released for streaming on May 10, 2019, by Netflix.
Abby (Amy Poehler) decides to celebrate her friend Rebecca's (Rachel Dratch) 50th birthday with a weekend getaway over Rebecca's protests that she wants a low-key celebration. Abby, Rebecca and four of their friends, whom they have known since they were young waitresses, decide to spend the weekend together in Napa.
Rather than allow the women to relax and drink Abby wants them to adhere to a strict schedule, a way of seizing control as, unbeknownst to the rest of her friends, she has recently lost her job. All the other friends are struggling with problems of their own: Rebecca is in denial that her husband is inattentive and her friends hate him, Naomi (Maya Rudolph) is afraid of receiving test results from her doctor, successful business woman Catherine (Ana Gasteyer) feels that the rest of the friends are cutting her out, Val (Paula Pell) is looking for love and Jenny (Emily Spivey) a depressive writer, is simply miserable in life.
On Friday the friends eat at an expensive restaurant where Val flirts with their waitress, Jade.
The following morning the women have a sinister tarot reading from a woman called Lady Sunshine. Afterwards they go day drinking around Napa. Near the end of their tour there is tension when Abby snaps at the other women for not adhering to their schedule. When Rebecca goes to talk to her about her attitude Abby reveals that she lost her job. In anger Abby throws out her schedule and the women decide to go to Jade's art gallery opening.
They are shocked that Jade's art is all related to The Nanny. During a Q&A Abby rants on how younger generations have it too easy but ends her speech by saying that they are Fran Fine (in reference to Fran Drescher's character on the show The Nanny) causing the art goers to believe she is a part of the exhibit. Val stays behind to flirt with Jade but when she tries to ask her out Jade assumes she is trying to buy a painting and humiliated, Val agrees to buy it.
Returning home drunk and miserable Abby is propositioned by Devon the housekeeper (Jason Schwartzman) and has sex with him.
The next morning Naomi goes to wish Rebecca a happy birthday and finds her on the floor having thrown out her back. Rebecca reveals that spending the night on the floor led to the epiphany that she hates her life. She agrees to adhere to Abby's schedule and all the women, except Catherine who they can't find, go to brunch. Catherine eventually arrives and accuses the other women of trying to cut her out. Naomi tells her she is locked in a self-fulfilling prophecy as work means she has no time for her friends and not spending more time with her friends makes her work harder. Naomi then reveals she also has problems as she is waiting on the results of a BRCA1 and BRCA2 test and then storms out of the restaurant. After Rebecca tells Abby that the birthday weekend is more for her than for Rebecca, Abby storms out as well.
Naomi and Abby are pursued by the rest of the women in a golf cart. Naomi is bitten on the ankle by a snake and as they can't get cell phone reception Val decides to run down the side of the steep hill they are on to get help. One by one the other women follow Val down the side of the hill. Catherine is the last one to go and gives an emotional speech at the top of the hill about why she is planning to turn down a lucrative job opportunity to spend more time with her friends, a speech that they don't hear.
Arriving at the hospital, they learn that Naomi is fine. Catherine also calls the doctor for her and learns Naomi's blood tests came back negative.
That night, the women sit around drinking and invite the lonely local owner of the house they are staying in, Tammy (Tina Fey), to join them.
- Amy Poehler as Abby
- Rachel Dratch as Rebecca
- Ana Gasteyer as Catherine
- Maya Rudolph as Naomi
- Paula Pell as Val
- Emily Spivey as Jenny
- Tina Fey as Tammy
- Maya Erskine as Jade, a waitress and Val's love interest
- Jason Schwartzman as Devon
- Cherry Jones as Lady Sunshine, the tarot card reader
- Jay Larson as Brian
- Liz Cackowski as Lisa
- Sunita Mani as Dolly
- Greg Poehler as Doctor Dickswing
- Brené Brown as herself
On March 20, 2018, it was announced that Netflix had greenlit a comedy film entitled Wine Country. It was reported that Amy Poehler would make her directional debut with the film, and also executive produce alongside Carla Hacken and Morgan Sackett. The film was written by Emily Spivey and Liz Cackowski. Production companies involved include Paper Kite Productions, Paper Pictures, and Dunshire Productions.
The film's initial announcement confirmed that Poehler and Spivey would star in the film, alongside Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, Maya Rudolph, and Tina Fey. Later in March 2018, it was announced that Maya Erskine, Jason Schwartzman and Cherry Jones had also joined the cast.
Principal photography began on March 22, 2018 in Los Angeles, California, and also took place in Napa, California. On May 4 and 5, filming took place in Calistoga, California. Filming had reportedly ended by early June 2018.
The film was released in select theaters on May 8, 2019 and on Netflix on May 10, 2019.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 66% based on 83 reviews, with an average rating of 5.89/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Wine Country's comedy might not be quite as robust as fans of this ensemble will expect, but it's got sweetness on the nose and a nicely balanced finish." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 56 out of 100, based on 21 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
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