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Rated 2.99 stars
by 83 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Birthday Madness
by Betty Jo Tucker

Take a look at this list of talented women comics: Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolf, Ana Gasteyer, Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Paula Pell. Now imagine them all together in a film comedy. It should be filled with laughs, right? I agree. But that movie is not Wine Country, folks. Because I am an avid fan of these funny ladies, the disappointment I feel still hurts, even though I watched this Netflix offering a couple of days ago.

The film’s simple plot deals with a group of good friends who get together for a weekend trip to Napa wine country, where they plan to celebrate the 50th birthday of one member, played by Rachel Dratch. They all met and bonded many years ago while working in a pizza restaurant and have remained staunch friends. However, tensions flare on this trip because of secrets or problems each member is reluctant to share with the group.

Amy Poehler’s character organized everything -- or I should say “over-organized” it.  Why does she take on this project and what does it mean to her? The truth will be revealed. Why does Maya Rudolph’s character seem worried about something? The truth will be revealed. Why is Ana Gasteyer’s character reluctant to put down her work phone? The truth will be revealed. And so on.

It’s puzzling why these women rebel against the activities planned for them. Personally, I believe the Tarot card session led by a no-nonsense Cherry Jones would be great fun. And the living location rented from a surprisingly introverted Tina Fey appears more than satisfactory. After all, chef Jason Schwartzman comes with the house.  

Now, about the laughs. If you think watching a group of middle-aged women rolling down a hill is funny, this film is for you. If you like to see Maya Rudolph start to sing, then fall off the piano, watch this movie. (Full disclosure: I did laugh at that.)     

Fiftieth birthday – a milestone.

It’s not a time to be alone.

But spending it with some good friends

can get crazy before it ends.


Yes, Wine Country tries hard for fun.

Silly conversations are spun.

Yet we can’t help wondering why

this movie’s plot seems so darn dry.


Talented cast with potential

could use something more essential.

Friendship works but not throughout.

Too many gals to learn about.


Revealing secrets worked for me.

That part is impressive to see.

Some slapstick stunts may make you smile.

But those last only a short while.


Writing this poem makes me so sad.

I hate to say a movie’s bad.

I hope these stars bounce back real soon

so I can sing a different tune.

(Released by Netflix and rated “R” for crude sexual content, language and some drug material.)

For more information about Wine Country, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.)

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