The film begins with a narration from the leading character named Mark (Joe Pantoliano). We hear about Mark’s upbringing in Italy and how he eventually immigrated to the United States as a young boy. We also gain an understanding of his education, his marriage and his family. Today, Mark and his wife live in Canada, and he currently works as a chief executive at an automotive company. But after Mark has some breakdown during a major presentation for his company, he decides to quit his job on the same day. He informs his wife of the decision later that evening and tells her he has booked tickets to Italy. He feels he needs to get out and escape one more time, questioning how much time he has left on Earth.
His wife does not take the news well, and Mark travels all by himself. Upon his arrival in Italy, Mark bumps into many familiar faces from his childhood. He also makes vast discoveries about an old vineyard that used to belong to his grandfather. Mark becomes inspired to do something with the old vineyard and has desires to learn more about winemaking while rediscovering himself along the way.
I enjoyed seeing actor Joe Pantoliano take the lead role in this film. His performance is quite pleasing, and like the plot, he is filled with light-hearted moments as he desires to recover after a breakdown. The film also gives insight into Mark’s past and upbringing, thanks to his re-occurring visions and flashbacks. This was a nice touch to see, as it provides the character with more depth and more likeability.
The plot here is basic and moves at a nice pace. While many aspects of the film include side plots that appear to be predictable, Mark’s actions as a character are certainly not. I enjoyed Mark as a character for the most part, but I cannot deny he does make some questionable and rushed decisions. These choices may have its audience frowning while watching, but not so the people around Mark. Side characters seem somewhat forgiving of Mark’s actions. Naturally, they have a solid level of acceptance as he continues to make several radical life choices, such as quitting his job and spending his life savings on the staff and tools, which are all required to make wine.
Overall, this film is quite basic and generally pleasing. It is a film that carries a basic plot about a man rediscovering himself and desiring to make a significant change in lifestyle by revisiting elements from his past. This is a light-hearted story with small touches of feel-good humour and romance along the way. It was welcoming to see actor Joe Pantoliano take the lead in this film and story, even if elements from his character will not always be agreeable to the audience. Seeking a light-hearted film? This is undoubtedly a film that will deliver a touching smile onto many of the faces of movie lovers, and I suggest you drink a glass of red while watching.