From Publishers Weekly
Two old friends set out for a weeklong romp through Santa Ynez, Calif., wine country that comically strains their friendship in Pickett's lively debut. Smart, hapless narrator Miles is divorced and broke, and his novel's been rejected all over town. His handsome, "ursine" best friend, Jack, a successful actor, is about to get married, and wants to enjoy a few last days of freedom. Pickett gleefully chronicles their many minor adventures, including the oversexed Jack's attempts at getting laid, a boar-hunting episode and a staged car accident. Add to that massive amounts of wine: oenophile Miles swills rather than sips, and Jack's always been a party guy. While Jack works his charm on the ladies, Miles has his own flirtation with a lovely waitress. Miles can be a delightful narrator, but he's no prince: he's a bore when it comes to wine, for example, and he can get a little pseudophilosophical ("photos mock the present by staring back at us with their immutable luster of our youthful past"). He also thinks nothing of snatching a couple thousand dollars from his alcoholic mother on her birthday. But redemption for all is promised and Pickett takes his readers on a jolly ride. His novel sounds like a perfect buddy flick, and indeed, it will have its chance: Alexander Payne (About Schmidt
) is directing it for Fox Searchlight.
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Screenwriter Pickett's debut, already a film in the making by Almost Schmidt
director Alexander Payne, is a buddy novel in the cinematic vein of Swingers.
Two longtime friends, Miles, a struggling, cynical, recently divorced writer and wine snob, and Jack, a soon-to-be-wed TV director, leave Los Angeles for vineyard country on Jack's last week as a bachelor. Their road trip of endless imbibing and carousing feels like Dharma Bums
updated with metrosexual panache. Miles is most interested in consuming wine while Jack is hell-bent on consummating one last affair. Jack's suave demeanor and classically handsome mug get both friends into uproarious and dangerous situations in this rambling comedy of errors. Pickett plays the sex-and-the-single-man angle for all its worth here, nodding occasionally at such larger themes as friendship and romance. Call it Nick Hornby lite. Misha StoneCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved