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I was surprised to find the rating when I first checked it out, but I suppose it's a matter of personal experience and the taste that goes with it. I like to be reminded of my own personal experience (which is similar) and compare it to what the main character goes through in the movie. I suppose you'll like it if it means something to you, so if you've got issues with your past (relationships, particularly) and you like happy endings, give this film a shot. There's a bit of stereotyping in the film though, but they're presented humorously, so I didn't really mind. Besides, they aren't very damaging stereotypes (at least in my view), nor very annoying ones.
I cannot envision anyone but Reese Witherspoon as Melanie, a
snooty-but-lovable up-and-coming New York City fashion designer from
Alabama who receives a marriage proposal from the prominent, well-bred
son of the mayor of New York. Of course, this means that she must go
back to the small town where she was raised to demand a divorce from
Jake (Josh Lucas) - seven years after walking out on him.
Aside from being a love story, this film shows us that you cannot escape your past, no matter how hard you try. Everywhere she turns Reese's character is beset by the people and events of her youth. Old friends seem almost compelled to reminisce about their youthful escapades. She just cannot seem to get away from it. You really get a sense of how she must feel when you see her in the honky-tonk bar, surrounded by rednecks with no visible exit.
Witherspoon is right at home in the role as a smart, sassy young woman ala 'Legally Blonde'. However the real star of the show is Josh Lucas. His expressive face lends an authenticity to Jake that transcends the stereotypical former football star and produces a charismatic, likable guy who just wants to win back his girl. But if it is stereotypes that you want, they are there to be found. Most prominent is the mother of Reese's fiancé, played by Candice Bergen. She is one tough politician who is as cold as ice and predictably obsessed with her public image. Others include the independent, feminist girlfriend, the redneck buddies and a gay fashion designer.
Director Andy Tennant also likes to deal with some classic historical and societal conflicts in this movie, such as the North versus the South. In addition to numerous Yankee/redneck jokes, Witherspoon's dad (Fred Ward) is involved in the regular reenactment of a Civil War battle. Tennant also seems to be a fan of love's ability to prevail in the face of these conflicts. His film 'Ever After' has a similar theme it deals with the struggle between nobility and commoner during medieval times. Specifically, it is about a Prince who falls in love with a peasant girl. Despite the odds, their love overcomes this obstacle.
If you like romantic comedies, you should like this film. Despite its flaws this movie is upbeat, entertaining and it comes with a lesson about the futility of trying to escape your past that might prove invaluable to some audience members.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
How could anyone like this movie? I avoided this movie because I
thought it would be merely fluff, but a girlfriend brought it over for
movie night, so I decided to give it a try. While I generally love
Reese Witherspoon in many movies (Election and Freeway are awesome)
neither she nor the other good actors could rescue the bad story,
two-dimensional characters and poor writing in this trite movie. C'mon
gals, do women really act like this? Would you treat good people who
love you like that? No way. Why do male screenwriters decide to portray
us like this anyway? At the end of the movie I said out loud, "This
must have been written by a man". Sure enough: (Story By, Screenplay
By, Directed By) all men.
**SPOILER** Additionally, I am getting sick and tired of the leave-them-at-the-alter-but-we-can-still-be-friends? overused storyline. Why is it considered romantic to treat another good person who loves you in such a cruel manner? It seems that disregard for kindness, decency and public humiliation is the best romantic story in today's vapid Hollywood boardrooms. This woman is rude and cruel to good people. She says and treats people horribly and we are supposed to believe that if she says "I'm sorry y'all" or gets a little weepy that this is good enough for 100% redemption? As a viewer, this was a hard pill to swallow. She lies to the man she loves in both cases; runs away when times are tough ("for good times and bad, til death do us part" yeah right); publicly humiliates her friends (several times); betrays confidences that in the deep south could mean life or death--Give me a break! I believe that you should be able to empathize with the protagonist, but I found that I hated her and the story. Why do we choose to be spoon-fed this insipid crap? I think that as moviegoers paying good money that we need to be a little more critical when a bad story, bad dialog and unbelievable situations arise in movies.
Ever hear of the story of crying "wolf?" Most of the extra forceful
of "Sweet Home Alabama" are the professional and amateur reviewers that
to tell us, "stay away, this is a waste of your time, do not see it."
Bull-dinkey! They are just crying "wolf" for some unknown reason. This is
fine, funny movie that relies more on an ensemble cast than just on Reese
Witherspoon. The writing is smart and funny, the directing fits the
mood of the story, and the acting is just right. Although it is a quite
different film from "Legally Blonde" and "Election", I enjoyed it just as
much, and will enjoy it upon repeat viewings.
no SPOILERS here...
Critic Ebert has a good summary of the story so I won't repeat any of it here. For those who may see the film and wonder how much the small town life is exaggerated, let me tell you "not much!" I grew up in a very small southern town, and I go back on occasions for high school reunions. What is depicted in this film is pretty darned close to reality, with some license taken for making the story a bit more interesting. Pay special attention to the story with the cat, and its burned tail, and watch closely at the end. :-)
The DVD is fine but the picture is not "reference" quality. The sound is Dolby 5.1 but surround channels are not very dynamic. The "extras" has several deleted scenes, and also includes the original ending that was scrapped after comments from test screenings. They had to re-shoot and I think the eventual ending is very appropriate. The first and last scenes complement each other very well.
"Sweet Home Alabama" - a fine movie for those who enjoy a good comedy, and especially those who like Reese Witherspoon.
Reese Witherspoon terrific heartfelt performance makes this movie work. I originally had my doubts about seeing this one but I bought the DVD and I highly enjoyed the movie. Reese Witherspoon has good chemistry with both Patrick Dempsey and Josh Lucas. The film although predictable is full of funny moments and a lot of heart.
Everyone is taking this movie too seriously. It's my favorite chick flick movie. There is no violence, except when she hits the mayor, no drugs, sex and only a little bit of questionable language. And some of the accents are accurate, at least the ones from the people I know from Alabama. Plus, it's a MOVIE. It's so funny! I'm from NJ and I don't think it portrays the South in a bad light. It's not meant to be a serious movie, just something to make you laugh go awwwww. If anything it portrays New York as a crowded dirty place...and it is..but not everyone in New York is rude...um OK, maybe I take that one back. Anyway don't criticize it, it's just a romantic comedy and how many of them are actually worth watching??? Go Ethan Embry and Josh Lucas!!!
I found Sweet Home Alabama to be a very sweet romantic comedy, Reese
Witherspoon was just so adorable in this film. I wanted to see Sweet
Home Alabama because I love Reese and remember hearing so much about it
when it was released. So, of course, I figured now would be a good time
to rent it and find out what this movie was about. Over all, I'd say it
was a bit over rated(everyone I knew who saw this movie loved it), but
still a watchable romantic comedy.
Sweet Home Alabama is about a girl, Melanie, she is about to marry the mayor of New York city's son. But she has a bit of a bumpy past in the south where her family and old friends are, she's still married to Jake, her high school sweetheart. Without trying to bring up her embarrassing past to her fiancée, she has to get things done and settled with everyone, including her husband. But she slowly discovers how much she missed her true home and how much of a wonderful guy that Jake is.
A bit predictable and silly, but over all I would recommend Sweet Home Alabama for a lite comedy that most could enjoy. Like I said, it's not that big of a deal, but I love Reese Witherspoon personally, so you might disagree, but then again, how will you know if you don't give the movie a shot? So, sit back and just have fun!
I am glad I didn't listen to critics and watched this movie! It is a
very good movie with charm, humor, sadness and most of all, genial
acting! Reese Witherspoon and Josh Lucas are the two characters that
you can relate to. Especially the dog part is very fun. I think what
makes this movie good is that it is a story you can relate to, but made
with humor. Yet there are a part sadness in the story.
It begins with that Melanie is asked by the son of the mayor if she wants to marry him. Then she says yes, but she has things to make up and decides to go down to her hometown in Alabama to get a divorce from her husband who she hasn't met for years, not after she lost her child and he was drunk on their wedding.
The concept and plot is very smart, when the tone is told with humour even in situations that are serious. In fact, if the movie hadn't humor, it had been falling apart. The humor is lifting the story to a little more than just good. It is so fun, so full of genial and amusing characters, excellent acting and an excellent ending. Maybe a movie that mostly girls like to watch, but anyway a good movie.
Where do i start with this movie? Fantastic, had me hooked from the start, they were on to a winner as soon as they cast Dakota Fanning as 'young' Melanie. Now i'm a sucker for good 'chick Flicks' and this one tops my list, Reese shines as Melanie, the girl who realises that what she's been looking for was right there at home waiting for her. Josh Lucas makes a fabulous performance as Jake, her estranged high school Hubby who's never got her out of his mind. If you are in the mood for a good old fashioned romance with some great country thrown in then this is the one for you, i've lost count how many times i have seen this now and i'll never tire of it. Even if this isn't your kind of film i challenge you to watch it and not feel good, practically impossible.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
My girlfriend rented this movie so I had to watch it. I thought it was on of the sappiest and most contrived stories I have ever seen. It was full of holes, like there are ways of ending a marraige - you don't have to stay married for years against your will, and thats not a spoiler, its the basis for the entire plot. The dialog between characters was bland and uninspired. And I didn't find this movie one bit funny. The exchanges between Witherspoon and her ex were more annoying than humerous. Its definitly a chick flick - and a bad one.
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