I've been on the fence about whether or not to see "SOMM," the documentary that follows a group of guys studying for the Master Sommelier exam. I'd heard both positive and negative about the movie, mostly negative about the self-centeredness of the characters. I was also intrigued by it, as the exam seems beyond crazy difficult.
"Somm is the story of four sommeliers attempting to pass the prestigious Master Sommelier exam, a test with one of the lowest pass rates in the world. The exam covers literally anything having to do with the entire world of wine and that is just the beginning. Access to the Court Of Master Sommeliers has always been strictly regulated and cameras have never been allowed anywhere near the exam.... Until now. How much do you know about wine?"
Turns out it's pretty good. The guys are definitely portrayed as self-centered, with passing the exam their main focus. But....my impression was that while it was important, the reason they were going through this was to prove something to the world about how great they were, but also for their wives and girlfriends.
Overall, this was an engaging movie -- for the most part, you care about whether these guys pass the exam, though you also have to wonder about putting that much effort into this. Ultimately though, with only about 200 Master Sommeliers in the world, it's a pretty exclusive club to belong to:
- Pros: Gives the highs and lows of their progress; characters are neither positive or negative; inside glimpse into the stress of preparing for this exam
- Cons: Not a single woman - really?
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