SOMM Movie Reviews
User reviews on SOMM
This is a doc**entary about 4 men who will do anything to pass the most difficult test that most people have never heard of. The film offers an inside look into a mysterious world - the Court of Master Sommeliers and the massively intimidating Master Sommelier Exam. I did not like this doc**entary and I do not think it is worth seeing in the theaters. I thought this film will be about wine but it was about four men who were arrogant, self-regarding and pretentious and I did not care about them whatsoever, they were very irritating and I don’t really understand why the makers of this film thought that the audience would care about these people.
A doc**entary is only as good as its subjects, and the guys who are at the center of SOMM are frankly pretty unappealing at times. They seem to have an inflated sense of their own importance (you're just drinking wine, I wanted to scream at the screen sometimes!) and they can be pretty anal and off putting. If you like listening to overly pedantic and condescending snooty art types who are convinced that they are the only ones who really "get it", then this is the movie for you. I liked certain parts of the doc**entary, like when they explained the rise of wine tasting and especially how it's so intrinsic to California where so much wine is produced. But beyond that the director seems to think that we are supposed to relate to four guys who are genuinely unrelatable. They could have been a little more humanized and that would have helped the movie a long, long way.
If you're a foodie and wino (or both, like me, lol!) you'll enjoy this movie. It's full of lots of facts about wine tasting and wine production that I had no idea about. For example, did you know that the test to become a sommelier has been around since 1970 but there have only been 200 people that have passed it? I had no idea. Every year millions of aspiring wine experts fail the test. It's just shocking to me! The movie follows four guys in San Francisco who are about to take this test for the first time. They all have big personalities and lots to share about their personal experiences that brought them to this point in their lives. The only thing I found slightly off putting was how every scene was followed by a talking head of the subject explaining what he was feeling in the previous scene. That works for "The Office", not here. Still, it's worth a peek. Bottoms up!
I have a friend who's a pretty well-known somelier in Chicago so when I saw the trailer for this I immediately thought of her. Alcohol is something nearly everyone loves (at least those who drink and have a mature palette), so I am very fascinated by how one actually goes about the process of training their taste buds to the point that we can fork over authority and call them "experts". This movie is sort of a glimpse into that world and yet it only gives us a view that stays at an arms length. I was hoping for something more in depth. Instead we get a bunch of guys who sit around a table, popping corks and cracking wise. It's not nearly as fascinating to watch someone talk about drinking wine as it is to actually watch them learn about it and explain it to an observer. There's gotta be a better and stronger film on this subject out there - maybe in Italian?