A young woman who's reinvented herself as a New York City socialite must return home to Alabama to obtain a divorce from her husband, after seven years of separation.A young woman who's reinvented herself as a New York City socialite must return home to Alabama to obtain a divorce from her husband, after seven years of separation.A young woman who's reinvented herself as a New York City socialite must return home to Alabama to obtain a divorce from her husband, after seven years of separation.
The city versus country motif is brought to life throughout the entire film in such actions as a civil war re-enactment, shooting anvils across the plantation yard, and a diverse, yet, predictable group of characters residing in Melanie's hometown. This is far from her world in New York City where she is a fashion designer, engaged to the mayor's son, Andrew Hennings (Patrick Dempsey), and lives life in the fast lane.
The city versus country conflict begins when Melanie returns home to finalize her divorce from her lovable, redneck husband Jake Perry (Josh Lucas). The laughs continue when, much to Mayor Kate Hennings (Candice Bergen) dismay, Melanie and Andrew decide to have their wedding in Alabama. Mayor Hennings is a stiff, conservative ice queen. This makes the first meeting of the happy couples' parents, Mayor Hennings and Pearl and Earl Smooter (Mary Kay Place and Fred Ward), incredibly predictable, yet, still hilarious when you see it play out.
As she was in "Legally Blonde" and "Just Like Heaven", Witherspoon is sweet, smart, and sassy. She pulls you into the film, and you want to see her happy. She has great chemistry with both Jake and Andrew, which makes it difficult for viewers to decide which she should be with. Melanie, herself, can't decide who is for her until she decides who she is.
Director Andy Tennant masterfully uses music to contribute to the theme. With the use of songs such as "Sweet Home Alabama," "What This World Needs Is a Few More Rednecks," and "Marry Me," he transports you into the south. This music prompts you to root for the south and the southern girl who has just returned home. Tennant, also, impressively did not over use the song "Sweet Home Alabama." He used the song only in the situations were it would make the largest impact.
Tennant shows in "Sweet Home Alabama", as he did in "Ever After", that love just happens and we can't control love any more than we can control who we really are. In "Sweet Home Alabama", all of Melanie's problems seem to stem from the fact that she cannot face who she really is. Her father sum's up the theme of the movie in one statement, "You can't ride two horses with one ass, sugar bean."
- Jul 11, 2006