73 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2002
I was a bit hesitant to watch this film at first because romantic-love-triangle-comedies all end the same way. Plus before the movie started, the audience was packed with high school teenagers with their cellphones. (They could litterally fiddle around with them for hours while looking seemingly busy.) But my mom insisted and I obliged. Anyways, the movie turned out to be pretty sweet and heartwarming.
Melanie Carmichael (aka Melanie Smooter), played by Reese Witherspoon, is an up-and-coming New York City fashion designer who has just been proposed to by Andrew (Patrick Dempsey), the mayor's son. (Quite an impressive proposal I might add, with the Tiffany store open just for them.) There's only one problem, she's still legally married to Jake (Josh Lucas) in Alabama. That's where the real story begins. Melanie drives back to her hometown and nags Jake to sign the divorce papers. He drags his feet while Melanie gets some time to get reacquainted with his family and friends, whom she left for seven years. She desperately wants to believe that she's a whole new person (with the last-name change and all), and ends up hurting the ones who love her. Does she get her divorce and who will she be with in the end? Ah, for that you'll have to watch the film!
I think the more interesting aspect of this film is watching Melanie come to her senses and acknowledge her roots. In New York, she might have had to cover up who she really is to get to where she's at -- changing her last name and fabricating a tall tale about her family. But it was a lie waiting to be exposed. When she goes back to Alabama and brings this pompous personality back with her she is reminded that it won't get her anything but the disappointed looks of her friends and family; the people she left behind.
In a nutshell, even though the ending was relatively predictable, the story is poignant enough and had sufficient humorous scenes in it to keep the audience hooked. (I particularly liked it when Melanie realizes that being married to Jake means that they still have a joint account at the local bank.) Also, I think Reese Witherspoon gave a good performance, and it's always nice to see Candice Bergan in a frenzy.
This is one of the better romantic comedies I've seen this year.
LEAP rating (each out of 5):
L (Language) - 3 (Cute, has its sentimental moments. Never boring.)
E (Erotica) - 0 (n/a)
A (Action) - 0 (n/a)
P (Plot) - 3 (In order to get married, Melanie must get a divorce, but going home and realizing how much she's left behind forces her to reconsider.)
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Reese Witherspoon was wonderful as Melanie Carmichael! She plays the displaced southerner very well. Josh Lucas was the perfect counterpart portraying the southern hick. They have known and loved each other since they were kids, but of course life interferes, and that is where this movie starts. The town and residents are a typical stereotype, but it doesn't even matter because the film was that good. The writing and supporting cast are priceless. I do have to give special mention to Candice Bergen. She is at her best when she plays those dry roles.
65 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2002
Witherspoon gives another strong, leading performance that proves she can make just about any movie look good. She stars as Melanie, a New York fashion designer whose dream is about come true. She's proposed to by New York's most successful and eligable bachelor, who also happens to be the mayor's son. Before she can say for sure, she quickly travels back home to country-side Alabama, to try and get a divorce out of her high-school sweetheart Jake (Josh Lucas). The film was better than I expected. It was pretty funny and heartwarming, while Reese gives a sweet performance in SWEET HOME ALABAMA. It's kind of a chick-flick, but proved high for a comedy on my standards. If you're in the mood for something light and funny, sweet and entertaining, "Alabama" is worth seeing.
35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Sweet Home Alabama, which stars the adorable Reese Witherspoon (Election, Legally Blonde), is a homespun delightful movie. In my opinion, it is a welcome relief to those of us who dislike violent or depressing movies. You actually walk out of the theater humming the song with a wide smile on your face.
Melanie played by Reese Witherspoon is a charming fashion designer who is being courted by the son of the Mayor of New York City. Embarking for an evening out, the young couple arrive at Tiffany's where Andrew proposes to Melanie. Trying to keep their engagement a secret, though, is hard to do and suddenly the Mayor, played by Candice Bergen, is planning a wedding for several hundred at The Plaza. Only problem is not only isn't Melanie from a wealthy and old Southern family as she's led others to believe, but she is also still married to her childhood sweetheart Jake played by Josh Lucas (A Beautiful Mind). Now Melanie must return to sweet home Alabama and obtain Jake's signature on the divorce papers which he has stubbornly refused to do all of these years.. What ensues is a down home Southern yarn, complete with a reenactment scene from the Civil War, which leads to sorts of revelations.
I really enjoyed this movie. While it was refreshing and humorous, it also offered several warm and tender moments. The cast was well chosen and included some memorable actors. Among them was Candice Bergen, Mary Kay Place as Melanie's mother with Fred Ward as Melanie's father and Jean Smart as Jake's mother. Adding to the enjoyment was the beautifully photographed scenery from Florida and Georgia and a first rate soundtrack which I still can hear several days later. I do recommend you see this movie reminiscent of the great Frank Capra films of the past. And see if you don't find life in Sweet Home Alabama truly sweet.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2003
I thought this movie was great! It's a fun and happy movie, and it's Reese in her natural element. Being a Southern girl myself, it was funny to see the way they portrayed people in a small Southern town. This really a sweet movie about the magic of a first love that lasts through whatever you can throw at it! Anyone can identify with her being embarrassed and ashamed (even if it's a different topic) and nearly any girl would give her right arm to be taken to Tiffany's to have her pick of any engagement ring there! It's the perfect rags-to-riches-princess-who-gets-the-RIGHT-prince-in-the-end story!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2003
I just have to say that, Sweet Home Alabama was a great romantic comedy! The story line was great and it was a good reminder, to all, to remember your roots. The actors were great! All of them! That Josh Lucas (Jake) was great in his role and I was truly touched by his humor and sensitivity. I hope to see him in leading roles in the near future!
Although the movie did have a predictable ending, I found myself hoping Melanie would end up choosing Jake, whom really loved her for who she is. There are some very funny scenes, like when Jake thought that he had locked Melanie out of the house, but forgot that she knew where the spare key was hidden! It was great, down to earth fun!
This is most likely more of a chick-flick, but great for those guys out there in-touch with their sensitive side.
I hope you enjoy this movie as much as I did!!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2003
I liked this movie, but if you're looking for something to redeem all the sorry romantic comedies currently out there (like I was), you'll be disappointed.
Reese Witherspoon's character, Melanie, is by turns selfish and likable and I wish they had been more consistent with her. I ended up liking her in the end, but her snobbiness in the beginning made that more difficult than it should have been.
As for the men. . .Josh Lucas' character is both easy on the eyes :-) and a nice guy, as is Melanie's fiance. And that's part of the problem too: it feels like the writers didn't want to make anyone the bad guy, so they wrote themselves into a corner. No wonder Melanie can't make a decision.
It's really not a bad movie, though. It's light, enjoyable, and though you wish that Melanie (and the writers) had made some different decisions, it will make for a nice afternoon.
By the way, the special features are nothing spectacular. It's mostly just scenes and, in one case, an entire subplot, that hit the cutting room floor. But take my advice on this one--DO NOT watch the alternate ending. It was terrible and it has haunted my later viewings of the movie.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2002
Sweet Home Alabama should be right up there with movies like My Best Friends Wedding and The Wedding Planner. Reese Witherspoon's acting in this movie was a lot more serious, not like her usual bubbly blonde roles like in Legally Blonde. Reese plays Melanie Carmichael a famous New York fashion designer who is engaged to Patrick Dempsy who plays the part of the wealthy son of New York mayor played by Candice Bergen. Everything in Melanie's life seems perfect, that is until she decides to go back to her hometown Alabama and tell her family and friends she is going to get married. When she returns home the first item on her list: ask her husband played by Josh Lucas for a divorce. Hilarity and mishap ensue.As time progresses Melanie realizes just how important her family is to her and how it was wrong of her to shut them out. She also comes to realize that her love for husband is even stronger and that he is the one she should be with. This movie proves to be a great romantic comedy and is a movie for both girls and GUYS. It is not a chick flick ok? Also look for appearances by Ethan Embry as Melanie's cousin Bobby Rae and Melanie Lynskey as Melanie's friend. The acting is great, the script is original, and Reese who was not only made for this part proves that she can be a serious actress and is not one of the stereotypical blondes of Hollywood.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2002
After seeing Reese Witherspoon in the movie "Legally Blonde" I realized that she had finally arrived as an actor. In "Sweet Home Alabama" (movie title inspired by the song)Reese plays the part of a New York fashion designer who is engaged to the son of the Mayor. The problem is that she is still married to her childhood sweetheart (since age 10 mind you) back home in Pigeon Creek, Alabama. Just down the road a piece from Hicksville.
Reese goes home, now because she is a sucessful NY fashion designer she is a much much better person than any of the corn feed folk from down Alabama way, to secure her estranged husband's signature on the divorce decree. She winds up discovering that "you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl."
"Sweet Home Alabama" is a funny movie and yet it is also a moralistic story. And the dialoge was great. I would recommend this one for the entire family. (No sex, violence, or nudity.) Cammy Diaz A @ L
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2002
Reese Witherspoon shares a couple of things with the best movie "Blonds" of the past like Marilyn Monroe, Doris Day, Jean Harlow, Carol Lombard, Goldie Hawn, etc: a facility with both comedy and drama. Without question, especially after her success in "Legally Blond" and now "Sweet Home Alabama," Witherspoon is now a Star. She is a potent mixture of intelligence, ditzy-ness and sensuality and uses these traits to elevate the story and direction of "SHA" into a sweet and warm-hearted success.
Witherspoon plays Melanie Carmichael, a NYC fashion designer who must go home to Alabama to seek a quickie divorce from her first husband (Josh Lucas) after being proposed to by her boyfriend, a politician (Patrick Dempsey).
All manner of circumstance ensues that prevent Melanie from leaving Alabama immediately and therein lays the conflict that propels the movie forward.
There are some good performances, really cameos from Fred Ward, May Kay Place, Candice Bergen and Jean Smart. Josh Lucas finally graduates from the smarmy, greasy roles he played in "Dead Calm" and "Session 9" but he brings a bit of baggage from those films to his role here that adds resonance to what is basically a reactive rather than active role.
But don't fool yourself; this movie is all about Reese, Reese, Reese. And she delivers the goods in spades.