Most helpful positive review
74 of 79 people found the following review helpful
Charming, moving, uplifting, and surprisingly good!
on July 25, 2001
Charlize Theron brings on her charm, and Keanu Reeves turns in a surprisingly worthy performance in "Sweet November," a movie that's as light as a fall breeze. Slammed by most critics as a soggy romance with no star chemistry, the movie's premise centers around two people who, through an unlikely series of events, fall in love, though not without hardship.
Let it be known, the movie is not that bad. In fact, when put in comparison with movies like "Bounce" and "The Wedding Planner," "Sweet November" is actually kind of refreshing in it's own little way. Yes, the way in which the two develop their romance is a bit tough to swallow at first, but if you can ignore that and allow their growing relationship to touch your heart, then the movie succeeds on those terms.
Keanu Reeves plays Nelson Moss, a man who is all work and no play (when leaving for work one morning, he tells his girlfriend, "I have a life, and I'm late for it") as a big ad executive. While taking a test at the DMV, he runs into Sara Deever, played by Charlize Theron, who gives him an answer and gets caught cheating. What does Sara do? She milks the situation for everything she can in order to get Nelson to her home.
Her offer? To allow him to live in her house for a month, no more, no less, in order to help him get rid of all of his life's stresses and restrictions. She takes it to the extreme, too, giving his clothes to a homeless man, telling him he cannot go to work (he got fired, anyway), and taking him out into the town to show him the ways in which life can be fun.
Like any movie relationship, there are complications. Sara is reluctant to reveal anything about her past or her family, or her reasons for taking in a new man each month. All she will reveal is what she does to help each one of them. Near the end, there will come a revelation that will put the stability of their bond in jeopardy.
It seems preposterous, but with a movie like this, the events come in such an order that you can forgive these little pitfalls. Their budding romance really does have a kick to it, and despite the outside criticism, Theron and Reeves do have some good onscreen chemistry that lights up the screen in moments and provides for some very touching moments.
The film also has a lot of warm-hearted laughs. A scene in which Sara stands outside Nelson's apartment and begins shouting risque comments at people in order to gain his attention will have you chuckling, while her neighbors, two homosexuals who host a dinner party for the four of them in drag, are a riot. And the overall sweet nature of the relationship between the two is something to smile about, as well as shed a few tears over.
In one of his better roles, Keanu Reeves is convincingly emotional as Nelson. In the beginning, her perfectly portrays the egotistical attitude and outlook of his character, and then makes a very believable segue to someone who is so in love he is willing to change his whole life. Charlize Theron is, as always, a gem, bringing a touch of warmth and cheerfulness to her role as Sara. Her acting embodies her character with the zest for life needed to sell us on Sara's motives, and Theron captures that completely.
While it's not on par with many other romances on the market, "Sweet November" is nowhere near as bad as critics have made it out to be. In fact, it's a charming movie that is very uplifting, due in part to the moving relationship that Reeves and Theron bring to their characters. It met all of my expectations, which were few, but the fact that it met them is enough to recommend the film.