But Wine Country isn't a documentary -- exactly. Directed by Poehler, who conceived of the story with Spivey and former SNL writer Liz Cackowski, the movie follows a group of women who met while they were all waitressing in a pizza parlor, not working at one of the most influential TV shows in history. They come with their own baggage. Poehler's Abby is an over-planner dealing with professional and personal stumbling blocks; Rudolph's Naomi is waiting for a nerve-wracking phone call from her doctor; Gasteyer's Catherine is a celebrity chef mulling over a career decision; and Dratch's Rebecca is stuck in a lackluster marriage. During their weekend of fun and self reflection, they belt out The Bangles, have drunken discussions about Prince, and are baffled by millennials at a Fran Drescher-themed art show.
The story is adapted from some of their actual adventures. On Dratch's birthday trip, they hired a tarot card reader -- here played by Cherry Jones with an air of menace -- and had a paella chef on hand, who also acted as a chaperone. In the movie, said cook is an eager, horny Jason Schwartzman. In real life, it was just Dratch's other friend.
Cackowski, despite her shared history, did not actually go on the initial trip, so she was able to act as a voice of reason in the writing process. "I think what was helpful of having someone who wasn't on the trip to be able to hear stories from it and be like, 'Oh my God, yes, that's definitely a scene,' or 'let's heighten that,' and then there were some other things were more like, 'that might be more that it was funny because you were there type of thing,'" she says. Anything that didn't make the cut? Experiences related to being super famous comedians in real life.