Sweet November (2001)
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I couldn't believe that Keanu can play like that and convince me that Nelson fell in love for just one month.
I like Sara's story and the way she chooses to live. Charlize, as beautiful as always, made Sara strong and weak at the same time.
The great supporting role of drag queen Chaz Watley by Jason Isaacs. I never imagined he'd play something like this!
This is the only movie that made me cry and that's why I ranked him with the highest mark. BRAVO!!!
The acting is excellent, no doubt, but "annoying" is a comment from someone with his emotions firmly implanted where the sun does not shine, and communicates more about the reviewer than it does about the film.
Also, it is not a fault per se, that the ending of a film is predictable and I tire of this being used as negative criticism. The message is in the story, and a surprise ending is the last thing this charming story needs, or thankfully, has.
Oh, and since I used to be someone exactly like the Reeves character is the start of the movie, I can relate to what it is to discover that there is more to life. His character is real alright, but in the surreal sort of way that only those who have actually been there and escaped, truly understand. Now, if only I had had someone as charming as Ms. Theron to show me :-)
Anyway, this is not an "epic" film or even a "great" film - its just a film with a story a few messages and some excellent performances that will tug on your emotions - not altogether a bad thing in a cynical age.
The comments that the acting was not the best is crap too... it is harder to play the rolls these two actors portrayed than to play a bus-drivin super cop.
GREAT MOVIE... SEE IT FIRST CHANCE YOU CAN...
I love this movie, own it, and have watched it several times. I find it rather coincidental that my refusal to watch, turning off the movie right before the end (on the morning of December 1) to remember the beauty of the movie--is the same action that Sara takes to remember the change in Nelson and the beauty of their loving relationship, right before the end.
Sweet November is a fabulous movie. I hope the film reminds you to slow down and take a look at the important things in your life when you view it again.
Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves look good together; Keanu is not playing a superficial action role, so the focus is not on him. This is a good thing, especially as we can then appreciate Charlize Theron's performance as Sara Deaver, a quirky girl who Nelson (Keanu) meets at the DMV in San Francisco. San Francisco is an interesting backdrop- the positive aspects of it are emphasized, and it becomes another character in the film.
Jason Isaccs plays Chaz Cherry, the local cross-dresser who is Theron's friend and confidante. He does well in this, and last night I actually saw him in "Friends With Money", wherein his talent was literally wasted. Liam Aiken portrays Abner, who is quasi-adopted by Theron and Reeves, as their relationship develops.
There are some funny scenes, like where Greg Germann (Reeves' co-worker at an ad agency) orders cappuccino and is told off by the waitress. Also where Reeves is presenting an ad campaign for hot dogs, and he eventually flips out.
The film works because it is not a gushing romance film; I am not a big fan of Reeves but he was very good in this film. Theron was excellent, as always, and there are some beautiful shots of the Bay in San Francisco, a nice backdrop for a bittersweet romance.
Luckily, the film's appeal increases as it goes along. The performances by the two leads are strong, though I can't help but feel Charlize was a little miscast. For some reason, I don't picture her nebbish character as a beautiful woman with no facial blemishes. I mean, even Gwyneth Paltrow was convincing in "Bounce," because they didn't try to make her look beautiful. Half of the film she's wearing hardly any makeup. But that's a flaw I was able to look over. The point is the two characters are so likable and the two actors have such a cute chemistry that I couldn't hate this movie (past the 30-minute mark). The moments they share are genuine, and though I don't think Keanu's character arc would've been generated quite so successfully I was willing to look that over as well. Yes, this is moderately standard Hollywood fluff, but it works. And I was oddly captivated.
I also wish I could've been given a better explanation about Charlize's whole "Spend a Month With Me" deal. It's a pretty strange concept, and something that should've been explained with more detail. You mean EVERY month she can actually get a guy to live with her, no strings attached? As if she's a guardian angel and she just patrols the streets of San Francisco looking for her next customer, who seemingly needs help? And I'm sure, out of all those guys, Keanu is not the first one she had actual feelings for. Women are more libidinous than you think. I also wanted a better explanation of the Jason Isaacs character. Was he gay or what? Maybe I misinterpreted, but did him and Charlize use to go out? Is he bisexual? And what was that whole family crisis that Charlize had to deal with? There's a good deal of loose ends in this story that were either not clearly explained or not explained at all. And this is not a Hitchcock thriller, so you can't tell me the characters and plotlines were meant to be enigmatic.
I have to say, I did appreciate the ending. It wasn't overly sentimental, and I still found it sad and touching. And it sort of left things open-ended. One of those "Where Do I Go From Here?" conclusions. But someone did point out something interesting--the trailers almost ruined the film! You see, in the ads, Charlize lying in hospital bed with her face completely pale. Geez, I wonder what to expect? I assumed the plot was Charlize was dying and she wanted to spend the last days of her life with Keanu. It's times like this I wish they stuck with the teaser trailers.
"Sweet November" is not a great movie, but it's sad, touching, sometimes funny and contains two fine performances. It has an odd appeal to it. One of those films you want to keep on watching for no explicit reason. You don't know why you're into it, you just are. Maybe it's a guilty pleasure, maybe not. Who knows? But I'd be a lying, pretentious snob if I were to say I didn't like it. This is just my take.
My score: 7 (out of 10)