PHOTO BY MANJARI SHARMA
In the just released rom-com Destination Wedding, Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves (a pairing last seen on-screen in the trippy 2006 Richard Linklater film A Scanner Darkly) play Lindsay and Frank, two cynical wedding guests who bond over their mutual misanthropy.
“They’re two damaged people who can’t enjoy the occasion,” explains director Victor Levin. “The more beautiful and perfect the place, the unhappier they are—and the funnier it is.” The gorgeous backdrop that contrasts with the pair’s dourness is Dubost Ranch, a 320-acre family-owned vineyard in Paso Robles, a town midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, in Central California’s wine country.
To create the setting for the film, the production team had to act like wedding planners. Levin says his crew “did everything you would do if you were throwing an actual wedding on a remote hilltop at a working vineyard,” including building a reception tent with a dance floor and transforming the winery’s crush pad into the rehearsal dinner venue. The Dubost family even got involved in the festivities: Cofounder Curt Dubost appears in the film as the father of the bride, while his son, Ted, plays the groom. “They were very talented and easy to direct,” Levin says.
In the scene pictured here, wedding guests are participating in an inflatable bumper-ball game, except for Frank and Lindsay, who opt instead to snipe from the sidelines. “For these two, life is always over there somewhere, just out of reach,” Levin says. “We wanted them to be trespassers in paradise. And for that, we needed paradise.”