Cast of Wine Country: It’s unrealistic how people drink in movies without getting drunk


I watched Wine Country earlier this week and loved it. That’s not terribly shocking, I love the cast and abuddy girl comedy set in wine country is right up my alley. But my husband loved it too because of the writing. Most of the character development is delivered in well-crafted dialogue. The movie’s plot is a love letter to the evolution of friendship. It has a lot of soul to it. It’s also truly funny without becoming boffo. Most of the main cast, Amy Poehler, Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, Paula Pell and Tina Fey, appeared on Busy Tonight Monday and it was an absolute treat. The clips below have a few mild spoilers but the parts I’ve transcribed don’t. The biggest reveal is that the cast didn’t drink much wine on set but had some keep track of how drunk they should be to make it more real.

Congratulations on the new movie, Wine Country. I related to it so much and just I feel like everyone needs to know: were you guys drinking real wine?

Amy: Very rarely. I feel like of a lot of this stuff happened in the midday and we would have been a little too sleepy. Alice Stanley, who works on your show, she kept track of the amount of glasses of wine each character had drunk in every scene. If you remember, a couple times, she had a little chart, she’d be like, ‘Just remember Maya, that your character has had four glasses’

Maya: I thought you were doing that, and I thought you were a genius

But can I tell you something, that is genius. Because just recently, my husband and I were watching the film where the characters legitimately took literally 14 shots and in the next scene were like, (soberly) Alright, so here’s the thing…’

Tina: And then you watch Mad Men and think, ‘No, y’all would be dead.’

Amy, This is your directorial debut. What was it like directing some of your closest friends, was that an easy job for you?

Amy: It was. I think a lot of directors like to talk about how difficult things are and therefore what they make is so worthy. But this is really easy.

The hardest part was just getting us to just stop talking and start working.

Tina: It was so great to have a director who knows when that’s enough improv. Because a lot of directors bring you in and they want you to fix the script with improv. Emily Spivey and Liz Cackowski were hilarious too.

I cannot emphasize enough how delightful this interview was. What I like about it is what I like about Wine Country – it’s humorous and warm and yet, they actually say something beyond the funny-drunk-emotional women tropes. Charting the amount of wine consumption so the actor can more accurately portray their character is smart. It made the characters more relatable and allowed me to connect better with them. And Tina’s comments are huge. Directors do rely on talented comedians to save scenes with improvising. But so often, those scenes get ruined because they’ve relied too heavily on it. I added the bit about Tina calling out to Liz Cackowski (who is in Busy’s audience) because she truly is fantastic in her five minutes on screen. I love that these women put their faith in Amy and came out the other side even closer. I want to watch the film again after seeing this because I feel like watching their camaraderie off screen will make it even more enjoyable.

There is a lot more to their interview. Many of the bits in Wine Country were taken from various friend trips the cast have taken over the years and they explain the origin stories to Busy (again, mild spoilers). One of the funniest stories involves Paula and vibrators but I’ll let you watch that one your own. Another story is about Amy’s character’s CPAP machine. Apparently, Amy is such an advocate of CPAP machines that she not only wrote it in for her character, she used her actual machine in the film. The best part is while describing it, she likened it to Bradley Cooper casting his own dog in A Star Is Born.

I know I sound like a broken record, but I really want Busy Tonight to continue. She fosters an environment in which these kinds of interviews allow people to show their best selves. Wine Country is currently streaming n Netflix.

Amy’s comments about her CPAP machine and another funny quote from Maya about answering reporters with “suck my d**k” are int this segment. Plus they all harmonize to Busy’s closing song – it’s great:

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Embed from Getty Images

Photo credit: YouTube, Getty Images and WENN Photos

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53 Responses to “Cast of Wine Country: It’s unrealistic how people drink in movies without getting drunk”

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  1. J. says:

    Huh, I thought the movie was garbage – an Adam Sandler buddy trip but with women. Lazy, unfunny, unearned. They make a joke about a rapper’s name being confusing at one point.

    But I guess I’m glad other people enjoyed it

    • astrid says:

      +1 I watched for about 30 minutes and gave up

      • Ally says:

        Ditto. Once they got to the house and Tina Fey showed up as an SNL character, it became clear the thing was a cast and an idea without plot or purpose.

    • Kcat says:

      The joke was about a couple of current entertainers, and how out of touch the women were at their age.

      I thought the movie was great. Loved the cast, the writing, the soundtrack. My parents watched it and couldn’t get past the music (too loud) and the inappropriate jokes. Different strokes.

    • StartupSpouse says:

      Thank you, @J. Came here to say the same thing. I absolutely love everyone in the cast, but this movie was awful. Zero plot. Zero character development. I was bored. So disappointed because I really wanted to love it and watch it 5 times.

    • Coco says:

      Agreed, love everyone in it and was excited to watch it but it fell flat for me. There were some clunky directorial and I barely registered a laugh throughout. Maybe I was expecting something different or it was sold as more of a comedy in trailers but I found it slow, awkward, unfunny, and very, very forced. Which might have been the vibe Poehler was going for to show how distant these friends actually were but it was painful. And not in an entertaining way.

    • Snowslow says:

      Very surprised with this article!
      I kept looking at my husband to check if he was as bored as me with Wine Country (even the title is half-arsed).
      It actually made me depressed about ageing for the first time in my life. The ladies seemed so uninteresting, disconnected from life and themselves, unengaged with their surroundings (it was a trip after all).
      The characters were so out of touch with everything, the writing was so mediocre that I wondered if Netflix had made a mistake and published the first rushes.
      We love Amy Poehler but ended noting that we may have been mistaking her for Leslie Knope all this time…

      • Meg says:

        I really wanted to love this movie, but I just didn’t care about the characters, they didn’t seem very developed and I couldn’t work out why they were ever friends, I didn’t see the connections. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who didn’t enjoy it.

      • Amy says:

        Ditto! This is totally my kind of movie but I was so bored and waiting for it to “take off” and then it ended. Sad. (I did find occasional interactions or moments funny, but that didn’t even last until the end of the scene.)

    • Anastasia says:

      I WANTED to love it so badly. I love ALL those women. But yeah, it felt like it was trying too hard. And Tina Fey’s character felt SO pointless.

      Amy was playing a super grumpy version of Leslie Knope. I kept fast forwarding little bits and pieces. Even the editing was weird–scenes often ended really abruptly, but then I was glad they ended.

    • Bella Bella says:

      I need to jump in here and say I LOVED IT. They were hilarious. I actually was laughing out loud at certain moments, particularly the physical comedy. There were a few sappy moments in it, but I had a great time watching this movie, and I am a harsh critic. Rachel Dratch and Maya Rudolph in particular are very funny. More movies for them! And Tina played against type, also great.

    • Dirk says:

      Yup. Criminal waste of talent.

  2. Mariposa says:

    Maya looks fantastic in that last photo, with the short dress. I really feel like she is punking us most of the time with her 1970’s, floral duvet cover dresses. I wish Busy had been given another season. I know she was very uneven, but she would have improved a lot. I think she has a different ‘voice’ to most chat shows.

  3. Canadian says:

    It was a cute show with some funny moments. I liked Bridesmaids better for the laughs.

  4. Eliza says:

    I thought the first act was strong, but the second and final parts were mediocre and the jokes didn’t land as well and a lot of their emotional cues were forced.

  5. Lizzie says:

    i loved it. i thought it was sweet and relateable with enough absurdist comedy to remind me it is a comedy and i don’t think about how my own adult friendships have become forced as we all go through the motions. i dont’ watch rachel dratch for a drama that makes sense – i watch her to listen to someone deadpan about raccoons looking into her soul.

    netflix is my new TBS. they have a little stable of pleasant, re-watchable, movies/shows right now that i can just reliably turn on and unwind. wine country, to all the boys i’ve loved before, set it up, grace and frankie and my trashy soap – riverdale.

    • Anastasia says:

      Try The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina!

    • North of Boston says:

      I really liked it! Quite a bit! It wasn’t what I expected, and there were some moments early on where I though it was going to be a bit of a slog, but then it pulled me in. I could see myself and my friends and my sisters in the characters, and there was a warmth and a joy that came through. I laughed out loud at some scenes and found myself tearing up at others.

      And as someone who is totally enamored with wine country, even though I can see the wheels of business turning behind it, so much of what was going on around the 6 main characters rang true.

    • Parigo says:

      We have same Netflix viewing list! I watched TATBILB 10 times and Riverdale is my campy hot mess of a soap too! Please Celebitchy more Riverdale coverage!

      Set it up! was really cute and I recently enjoyed Someone Great.

  6. I'm With The Band says:

    I find it so frustrating when a character is meant to be drunk… but they’re not slurring or bleary-eyed in the slightest. I mean, come on! That’s just lazy acting.

    I binge watched ‘Bonding’ last night (FYI – awesome) and one of the characters played drunk perfectly. Respect man, respect ✌️

  7. Lala11_7 says:

    I wanted to love “Wine Country”…SO MUCH…especially as I had been so lucky regarding anything that I have watched on Netflix over the past few weeks…

    Alas…I found the whole movie to be….banal…which is a shame when you look at the cast…EXCEPT for Tina Fey’s character…now I wanted to see a movie about Tina Fey’s character who I found to be a HOOT!

  8. elimaeby says:

    I enjoyed the movie enough. Not the best thing I’ve ever seen, but… Also, can I just be Paula when I grow up? I’m literally a comedy writer and her career trajectory is #goals for me. She is so funny and amazing, even just off the cuff.

  9. Katy k says:

    I love these actresses.. but this movie was sooo boring. After 30mins I tuned out to text friends. Really disappointing

  10. Harryg says:

    Sorry but this movie was so bad. Like so bad it made me enraged. I like Amy Pohler, but no. And I have never understood the allure of Tina Fey as a writer or an actress.
    Maya Rudolph was lovely as always, that’s all.

  11. shells_bells says:

    I also really enjoyed this movie. There were a few parts that made me cringe, but it also made me laugh (out loud) a lot. I have never seen Paula Pell in anything before and I thought she was the best piece to this puzzle!

    • Anastasia says:


    • Eliza says:

      She definitely was the stand out comedian.

    • Parigo says:

      Paula was my favorite too! This got bad reviews in Rotten Tomatoes, but I enjoyed it (but I was also folding laundry at the same time and didn’t give it my full attention).

  12. Jess says:

    I love all these women and powered through because of that love, but I really found Wine Country very boring. So disappointed because Baby Mama and Mean Girls are so great and this was so blah.

    • Snowslow says:

      To be honest with you, I rented Mean Girls the other day to show my kids (19, 18, 13 and 10 years old) and we all ended up underwhelmed and quite irked by some of the humour which was in really bad taste. I am revisiting these ladies in my head and actually finding that the real geniuses behind my love of Amy Poehler are the writers of Parks & Rec.
      Edit: also bought her book (“Yes, please”, I think) and it turned out to be mediocre. There are a lot of good women writers and directors (Issa Rae comes to mind) but Poehler ain’t it. Fey is also quite problematic.

      • Wilady says:

        Can I ask why you find Tina Fey problematic?

        Ps years ago I read Tina’s book Bossy Pants and loved it! Never read Amy’s book though.

      • Snowslow says:

        I think Tina Fey gets away with a lot of borderline racist jokes and fat shaming in her shows. Her humour locks people down in stereotypes most of the time and feels quite outdated in her past films to me. However I do think she is a clever lady and I am not surprised that her book is good. That is why it’s a bit enraging to see her get a bit lazy sometimes – and reductive. I think humour should expand out horizons, not comfort society in its own limitations.

    • Carol says:

      I love Baby Mama! Its my go-to-movie when I need a good laugh. I haven’t seen Wine Country yet but from the comments I’ve read here, I got a feeling I’m going to hate it.

  13. Kate says:

    Amy looks gorgeous as a brunette in that last photo!

  14. mander says:

    I agree with a lot of the comments here. Soooo disappointed. Discussed at my girls birthday dinner the other night, and everyone who had seen it agreed, it was NOT good. (about 5 others)
    What a waste of a cute idea.

  15. ClaireB says:

    I watched it with my best friend the other night when we both needed a pick-me-up, and we laughed our butts off. Every time one of the characters did something (schedule control, drinking too much, not dealing with problems), we’d say which of us it was, because it was always one of us. And I nearly couldn’t breathe when Amy Pohler had her big dramatic speech and then ended up crying about the environment, because I didn’t realize anyone else actually lived in that headspace besides me.

    It wasn’t a movie to watch for plot. It was definitely about modern womanhood and the choices those of us who are a little older have made for ourselves and whether those need to be reevaluated. Also, the importance of our found families, especially other women friends who understand and support who we are and who we could be.

    And Rachel Dratch motionless on a golf cart, which would definitely be my best friend.

  16. Stacy says:

    It’s also unrealistic that a large-ish group of middle aged women — some unemployed, some with children — all seem able to afford the most expensive damn vacation I’ve ever seen. AirBNBs don’t come with live-in help, Amy.

    • JennyJenny says:

      Nor do they come with transportation!
      I can’t imagine what all that would have cost in real life ~

    • Kate says:

      Yes and nary an airbnb comes with help that cooks paella on a 4 foot skillet with a wooden oar as a stirring spoon (LOL) but I loved Jason Schwartzman’s role

  17. M3 says:

    While Wine Country may not have been the LOL comedy the trailer made it out to be, I enjoyed the movie. I have two groups of friends (one from college and the other from an old job) that I regularly do long weekend reunion trips with, and all of the movie rang true for those weekends. So much drinking the first night, dragging ourselves through day 2, getting real after some time together, perhaps getting on each other’s nerves because we all know what the others are doing wrong and why can’t they get it together, finally sharing everything, promising to do a better job of staying in touch, then back to reality. Our worlds don’t change, and we rarely go as big as Napa, but being reminded of who you were and having the opportunity to embrace parts of that, even just for a little bit, is something that energizes me until the next get together.

    At my last college group trip, our Airbnb’s owner showed up with breakfast every morning. She was no Devon, but she was amazing in her own way. 🙂

  18. Laura-J says:

    It was a fun mindless movie. One part (SPOILER) made me laugh so much when Amy was deciding what to do with Devon. I couldn’t stop laughing, but I love uncomfortably long stares in comedy. The rest of the film I just chuckled a few times. But that was exactly what I expected.

    • CairinaCat says:

      Yeah I found the long stare part funny, and the hill part got so absurd I laughed out loud at that.
      It wasn’t a omg so funny movie, but then I wasn’t expecting that
      I enjoyed it because it met my expectations of a easy to watch, light, enjoyable funny movie.
      I had a horrible cold, still do and it was easy and fun to watch as I laid there dying.

      • Snowslow says:

        A Flaulkner quote re: a cold?! You, lady, should be writing comedy! LOL!!!

  19. Ange says:

    I just wish once they could have a movie about a bunch of women together and it DOESN’T have to devolve into a talking behind the back big explosion bitch fight. It’s such a tired cliche that hurts women, most of us can have wonderful friendships that aren’t all about appearance and hidden agendas my lord.

    • Amy says:

      Seriously. I was surprised that Tina Fey’s character hinted at that trope, and then they went there!

    • Snowslow says:

      Exactly. I did not identify with that at all and I am always surprised when that comes up. I was mainly friends with boys as a kid (I did not enjoy society’s expectations on women, especially in a strongly catholic country) but as I grew up, I started having more and more girlfriends, amazing women who do not bitch about me and whom I do not bitch about. Nor do I have big explosive fights with them.
      I work with women and travel with them sometimes for work and, give or take, I am nothing if in awe with them all.
      Bitch please.

    • Anastasia says:

      Yes to all of this.

  20. Angie says:

    I thought it was awful at first and almost shit it off but by the end I had fun watching it. It was dumb but there was enough honestly in it to make me laugh. I agree about the expensive vacation though. Holy cow. Those ladies spend a regular person’s salary on that trip.