Wine Club Featured, Reviews Film Threat

Mar 9, 2024

Wine Club, written and directed by Eric D. Cohen and Matthew Hirschhorn, is a comedy about Hollywood, wine, cults, and relationships. It is both over-the-top and sweet, which is an interesting mix to sip on for 103 minutes. Josh (Daniel Van Kirk) and Amanda (Taylor Ortega) elope in wine country, getting married at the courthouse. To celebrate their marriage, they buy a box of wine and stay in a dumpy motel. Obsessed with taking pictures of their big day and a quest to go wine taste, they find themselves at a vineyard atop a windy hill where they are welcomed to Wine Club.
What appears to be an evening of debauchery with their new friend Tovah (Jacqueline Emerson), the story takes a turn when Josh and Amanda try to leave and come face-to-face with Charlie (Steve Little). This former child star is the owner of the vineyard. Charlie was Gooch on the long-running television series Bakers Dozen. Disgusted with Hollywood, Charlie bought a vineyard where people can smoke pot, have open relationships, and drink wine.
Josh, a failed screenwriter, and Amanda, a therapist, are swept up in the wine club cult where “Elder” Charles provides them with a more proper wedding. Beyond being a fun formality, the ceremony serves as a rite of passage to Wine Club. Quickly, the happy couple wants to leave Wine Club and get back to their lives. Once at their hotel, they find two men waiting for them who say that Tovah, an heiress to a pet supply fortune, must be rescued. Odd though the request seems, Josh and Amanda are lured by a hefty reward to free Tovah. Now, they must return to the vineyard and face down what they thought they wanted versus the reality of their lives.

“…the happy couple wants to leave Wine Club and get back to their lives.”
Although it is too long, Wine Club has funny movements. However, its over-the-top characters drag the story and dilute the comedy. Considering the plot, the humor is very broad; too much so, in fact. It distracts from any real stakes, which is too bad, as the punchlines and one-liners are all delivered well.
However, Josh and Amanda hold the line of Wine Club until the very end. As characters, they are engaging and fun. Kirk and Ortega share an excellent chemistry and are playful and believably in a relationship. The other actors are also funny, but the direction and writing do not make all of them real enough. Hence, there is too much over-the-topness and not enough at stake.
Wine Club continues into the credits with character interviews, which shed some light on the story. While appealing, the additional runtime further drains the humor. Perhaps a commentary on wine country and the allure of its beauty and how wine can lead to one’s demise or cultish behavior should be injected more than it already is. Jabs at Hollywood, cults, or anything else are valid so long as there’s an underlying humor, making it worth a watch. That winds up being the case here by the end, but I am just not sure how many times you’ll want to rewatch it.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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