Directed by: Amy Poehler
Written by: Emily Spivey & Liz Cackowski
Starring: Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Paula Pell, Emily Spivey
Time and separation provide the opportunity for growth and possible change. Reconnecting with old friends after this growth can indicate where that friendship stands and if it survives. Wine Country reconnects a group of friends, each dealing with their own set of issues they want to hide for the sake of celebration.
After recently losing her job, Abby (Amy Poehler) wants to throw an extravagant 50th birthday party for her friend Rebecca (Rachel Dratch) in Napa. To celebrate the occasion, Abby gathers up all of their best friends: Catherine (Ana Gasteyer), Naomi (Maya Rudolph), Val (Paula Pell), and Jenny (Emily Spivey). Once they all arrive to their dreamy destination, they each try to work out their own issues and have fun, while Abby tries to keep them on a strict schedule for all of the events.
Gathering these female comedy legends is such a welcomed delight. These actors, who have made their marks in other films come together to create a breezy and fun comedy about friendship. Directed by Amy Poehler, she allows all of the actors, including herself, to have some fun with the back and forth of these characters. What she creates in Wine Country does not change the game in comedy but simply provides some fun entertainment with some of comedy’s greats.
Each of these women face their own issues, whether they be health-related or personal and mental obstacles. A natural issue for anyone to have as they mature and age throughout life. What one wants at the age of 22 does not equate to the desires and aspirations of someone in middle-age. A reality that hits these women in different ways throughout the story with the main one being Abby. After she lost her job, she feels the need to have some semblance of control in her life and she uses this vacation as a conduit for it. A response that may annoy her friends but feels natural to the character. Amy Poehler as Abby displays her tremendous comedic energy as a performer.
The other actors were also very good, with my favorite being Maya Rudolph. She never turns in a bad performance and continues that streak as Naomi in Wine Country. Each actor had their own little arc needed to be completed and they get wrapped up fairly adequately. A fine addition to the story is Devon (Jason Schwartzman) as the person taking care of the women throughout their stay. He spends most of the time creating a paella, which gets more and more ridiculous as the film continues.
Nothing too serious and a film that may be forgotten the next day, I enjoyed Wine Country for collecting these women and allowing them to play off each other comedically. A perfectly mild Netflix film that could be thrown for a good time.