Melanie Carmichael, an up and rising fashion designer in New York, has gotten almost everything she wished for since she was little. She has a great career and the JFK-like fiancée of New York City. But when he proposes to her, she doesn't forget about her family back down South. More importantly, her husband back there, who refuses to divorce her ever since she sent divorce papers seven years ago. To set matters straight, she decides to go to the south quick and make him sign the papers. When things don't turn out the way she planned them, she realizes that what she had before in the south was far more perfect than the life she had in New York City.Written by
Melanie drives past a sign on her way home in Alabama that says "Greenville," a town about two hours from the beach. If that's near her childhood home, she wouldn't have been there alone as a child, or popped by after the wedding. If she lived near the beach, she wouldn't be driving through Greenville. See more »
During the end credits some photos are shown with the cast. In a sequence of them Melanie's parents are "scared" by a punk with a pierced tongue, Mel's co-worker from the beginning of the movie, who comments on her accent when she dreams. See more »
Written by Dolly Parton
Performed by Dolly Parton
Licensed from and used by permission of Blue Eye Records /
Sugar Hill Records, Inc.
A Welk Music Group Company See more »
Reese Witherspoon as a smart, sassy blonde? Hard to believe, I know.
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.
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