…or is Alexander Payne’s Sideways so money? Payne’s first cinematic trip to California is eerily reminiscent of 1996’s Swingers, right down to the pathetic phone calls our struggling artists (Paul Giamatti/Jon Favreau) make in romantic desperation. Both pine for lost love, golf badly, and road-trip with a hip pal (Thomas Haden Church/ Vince Vaughn), who strives to get his buddy laid. In the end, pretty women (Virginia Madsen/Heather Graham) redeem our heroes, and we learn that nice guys don’t always finish last. Like a ’61 Cheval Blanc, a theme that’s aged to perfection.