Wine, wine, wine. Anybody who’s either female or over the age of 30 should be able to appreciate the fine aspects that fermented grapes have to offer us. The Romans sure as hell did — as did Jesus of Nazareth! Heck, even the great Orson Welles was known to chug down a bottle or two of Paul Masson whilst filming a commercial. The Chateau Meroux presents us a lighthearted PG-13 fable of what surely must have been one of Welles’ most habitual wet dreams (well, aside from completing Don Quixote, that is): to inherit an entire winery. Fortunately, though, we get the much easier-to-look-at Marla Sokoloff in the lead role here as Wendy, a young lass from the big city who can’t seem to get a grip on her career(s).
This all changes when she receives word that her long-estranged father has passed away, leaving behind vineyard in Napa Valley. Taking her best friend, Jennifer (Amanda Righetti), along with her to “co-manage” the establishment, the girls soon discover her dear dead dad’s business is in dire straits. They also meet a young, handsome Timothy Olyphant look-alike named Chris (Barry Watson), whose nefarious father (a surprisingly subtle Christopher Lloyd) is determined to take the chateau off Wendy’s hands by hook or crook. Hunky Daniel Bastreghi and the familiar faces of Taylor Negron and Jeffrey Weissman co-star in this amusing-but-predictable romantic comedy that’s a decent way to kill an hour-and-a-half — though some of the awful songs on the film’s soundtrack might leave you wanting to crack open a bottle of vino just to drown them out.
Anchor Bay releases The Chateau Meroux on DVD in an eye-catching 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation with adequate 5.1 Dolby Digital sound and optional English (SDH) and Spanish subtitles. No special features or included with this release, though I can’t really say I’m disappointed.
My suggestion: rent it first.