The Japanese version of “Sideways” (which for the moment is still being called “Sideways”) is one of the most intriguing of these cross-cultural experiments. As in the original, the action takes place in California and the road trip involves plenty of wine talk, a leather-harness-clad chase, a jealous-rage beating and a wine-spittoon guzzle.
Plenty of other details, however, have been changed. The two male characters (Michio and Daisuke instead of Miles and Jack) now head from Los Angeles to Napa Valley, instead of traipsing up to Santa Barbara. While wine sales are on the rise in Japan — thanks in part to the comic-book sensation “Kami no Shizuku,” or “The Drops of God,” about a heroic odyssey to find the best wines in the world — a lesser-known wine region like Santa Barbara would still resonate little with audiences. And heading to Napa allowed the filmmakers to weave in some local landmarks. “You can’t do a road trip in California without going over the Golden Gate Bridge,” said Cellin Gluck, the new film’s director.
Link to the story, published in the New York Times, is here.