Unless you’re way, way late to the party (in which case, I’m pretty jealous that you have more to do than keep up with all of Netflix’s latest releases), you’ve likely noticed that Netflix is pretty much killing the game with its original content releases lately. Shows like Dead to Me and fun flicks like Someone Great are basically must-sees. Netflix’s latest release, Wine Country, starring Hollywood heavyweights (and quite a few SNL alums) Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, Rachel Dratch, Emily Spivey, Paula Pell, and Tina Fey, may not truly be a must-see — it’s quirky and silly and all about a weekend getaway with close friends — but it is arguably a lesson in what long-term female friendships often look like. And you don’t have to be turning 50 to appreciate what it’s saying.
As recent college grads are sure to soon discover, making friends in high school and college can seem to be way easier than making friends as a post-grad. That doesn’t mean, of course, that you can’t (or aren’t destined) to meet your absolute best, life-long friends after school is done, but it really can be a bit harder, which means that your close friends at that point in your life could stay close for years to come. That’s essentially the background for the cast of friends in Wine Country. It’s not exactly clear if they met in college (or around that age) or shortly thereafter, but they’ve definitely been friends for quite awhile.
The premise of their trip to wine country is a 50th birthday celebration for one of the friends. And while that might seem a tad unrelatable to gals in their 20s and 30s, what becomes clear while watching the movie is that though the intricacies of friendships can change over the years and can, of course, vary from friendship to friendship, at their hearts, long-term female friendships can have just as much of the messiness and complexities as they do of love, support, and loyalty — no matter your age.
Long-term friendships can have the same sorts of tricky, sticky parts as familial relationships or even long-term romantic ones. After all, you have a shared history. There are things that were swept under the rug, things that were outright ignored, things that were settled in a way that didn’t sit well with everyone, choices made that friends didn’t agree with, reactions that weren’t what you’d expected or hoped. It’s complicated — like any other relationship — and Wine Country is pretty much proof that you shouldn’t expect that to change just because you’re growing older.
But still, there’s a feeling throughout the movie that even when things are at their messiest, friendship will win out in the end. And while that doesn’t always happen in real life, there can be some truth to that. That’s the beauty of long-term friendships. There’s something within that relationship that you’re willing to fight for — and likely have fought for over the years, even if you didn’t realize that’s what was happening. Whether it happens by making the conscious decision to fling yourself down a hill to where your friends are waiting to (metaphorically) catch you or by adding that calendar alert to remind you to FaceTime your faraway friend once a week, maintaining your close friendships over time takes a little bit of work — but all that hard work and investment is worth it. Time to book a trip to wine country.