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3.9 out of 5 stars
Sweet November (Keepcase)
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74 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2001
Format: DVD
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.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
One of the prior reviews stated that the ending was obvious in the first ten minutes; must have written the script.

There are very few romantic drama/comedies where the two characters part in anything like this way, nor does the illness of the Theron character get revealed until the middle of the film. Certainly, the approach of the Theron character to her life is very unusual.

Several of the reviewers noted that SF is beautifully photographed, almost perfectly photographed, to match the moods of the film. I agree.

I've watched it about four times, and probably will watch it several more times. The film's mix just works!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2004
Format: DVD
Sweet November has been the best romantic movie I have seen yet. Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves play the perfect roles and can make your heart melt. This movie is worth it. I have watched this movie so many times and it still leaves me crying. If you love romantic movies this movie is perfect for you. The chemistry in this movie is amazing. Watch this movie believe me you'll love it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2001
This is a romantic and funny movie about loving life. If you like movies like Sleepless In Seattle, One Fine Day, or Forces of Nature you will probably enjoy this one. I thought the house she lives in was coolThis movie is not your ordinary love story cause it shows you to love life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2002
Format: DVD
I really liked this movie. The more you see it, the more it grows on you. I was surprised that it didn't make me cry the first time I saw it but it does whenever I watch it now because I already know ahead of time what is going to happen and I understand the choices that Sara makes. I especially liked the 12 days of Christmas. Nelson went from a totally emotionally unattached (the guy was through having sex with his girlfriend as soon as the alarm clock went off!), unfeeling workaholic to remembering the item "that started it all." I believe Sara pulled it off rehabilitating him back to Earth. Every time I watch this movie, I see something that comes together that I didn't catch before. Charlize Theron does a wonderful job as Sara. ...
The movie gave me mixed emotions. I like the ending. Anyone who has ever had to watch a loved one die would understand Sara's decisions.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2005
Format: DVD
For astrologers the month of November belongs mostly to the sign of Scorpio, and symbolizes death, rebirth, and transformation. Sweet November takes this theme, mixes it with bittersweet romance, love's transformative power, all under the moon of Scropio. When Nelson's hard driving ways eliminate his personal life more and more in favor of a workaholic speed ...Sara arrives to remind him of the richness of living outside his advertising executive office. Set in the sprawling and beautiful hills of San Francisco... Nelson and Sara begin a ying and yang chemistry that can only end in tragedy. Sara's live for the moment ways are not without somber reason. It's the kind of film that warns us not to fall in love until it's too late.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I have to admit that I was initially attracted to this movie because of the Enya music--there is no more romantic music to listen to when you are in love or to make love to than Enya's music. James Cameron realized that and tried to get Enya to write songs for "Titanic"--but it turned out that she did not have time to do so.
Regardless, this movie is a definite top rate, excellent chick-flick tear-jerker if there ever was one. Of course, what better city in which to set a romantic movie than San Francisco, which is where this movie occurs. Sara Deever, a quirky 90's style woman chases after Nelson Moss, a hard driven ad designer. After she sends him a cute little dog, he immediately returns the dog to her and, as she is cleaning up his left hand (that he had cut earlier in the day), he tells her about his day: "I got fired. They took the company car. And my GIRLFRIEND left me" "Perfect!", she says. "Define 'perfect'", he says angrily. Perfect in this case is the lead in to the rest of the movie, a series of romantic crises, wonderful love scenes, ultimately leading to a two boxes of Kleenex ending. This is my number 9 chick flick of all time (see my list of all time chick flicks). And if you end up liking this movie, you will love the soundtrack!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2002
Format: DVD
Men will be diappointed to see Keanu Reeves in anything other than an action adventure film, so they will dismiss this movie right off of the bat. Ignore them. Send the guys to Hooters or a sports bar, and sit around alone, or with a girlfriend or two to watch this. Men hate the vunerability displayed in a strong man, as they feel threatened by it, but women will be touched by it.
Typical for a chick film, get the kids out of the house, as you need to be able to hear the dialogue to get the movie.
Yes, it does require suspending some disbelief, but so do many things in real life! The ending is horribly wonderful and wonderfully horrible. I won't give a spoiler. You will laugh at the silliness, and cry at the sadness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2003
Format: DVD
I was referred to this movie because of my love for Jason Isaacs but at the same time I fell into the storyline and the characters. I know that a lot of the story was unrealistic but it didn't stop me from enjoying it. I was really rooting for Nelson and Sara and was so saddened that it had to end so tragically, can there ever be a love story without a sad ending? It is sad to me that love stories always end sadly.
I still have to say that Jason Isaacs took my breath away with his performance of Chaz, the friendly gay cross-dresser friend of Sarah. I have followed his career as of recent since falling in love with him in Harry Potter but this took me as a surprise. He makes for a lovely looking man but makes an utterly ugly woman.
So over all, worth it and Ron thank you!
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2001
Format: DVD
I'm a guy, and don't generally appreciate "Chick Flicks," but this one started out all right. My wife wanted to see this movie, and I'll admit- I like Theron and Reeve's chemistry in Devil's Advocate, although their relationship in that movie ended even worse then theirs in this picture. I went to see the movie, and it had an enjoyable enough beginning as the cliche's of the movie were Hammered into the audience.
Reeve's character is a stiff suit, obsessed with himself, his talent and his career- he Lives for his job, and is not a healthy person. He is wholly self- absorbed, and has no real love for anyone but himself; his success at work is driven by his desire to satisfy his ego. He is obsessed with satisfying himself, by distancing himself as far as possible from his humble beginnings.
Theron's character is a flighty lovable leftist- PeTA type who liberates huggable puppies from evil experimental labs and gives them happy homes... . They are "better off" for having met her. Basically, she's a ...who shacks up with a guy to show him how twisted his life is without having Heavy amounts of leftist vitality. Granted, the character is a LOT more likeable than that of Any of Reeve's characters business partners, and her quirks are all lovable- but the viewer must realize that her intentions are flawed; she doesn't make any room for real love...
After the characters are detailed, and after they fall in love, the message of the movie self- destructs.
Reeve's finds out Theron is dying. Theron displays incredible selfishness by distancing herself from Reeves. She shuts him out, because she doesn't want him to see her as weak, basically rejecting Reeves love. Reeves goes to great lengths to see Theron, and eventually succeeds, forcing her to talk to him (Stalker!). He proposes marriage, and she rejects him. She admits she is dying, and wants him to leave her alone- forcing him to give up his love for her. It seems all hope is lost, and eventually- both characters give up all hope for a miracle recovery, and decide that even though they're MADLY in love, it's best if they never see each other again.
Who in their right mind would shut out their loved ones during their last days? Ironically, throughout the movie, Theron's character was doing just that. She had been refusing to see her family, because she didn't want Them to see her dying... at the end of the movie, she decides to allow them to see her, but STILL shuts Reeves out. She trades one bit of faulty logic for another. The movie seems to say, "It's ok to shut out the people who you love when you're dying. There is no hope for recovery from terminal illness. When you're dying, romantic love is too tragic to deal with..."
If I were in Reeve's characters position, and I allowed her to walk away at the end of the movie- I'd hate myself forever...
If I were Theron's character, and realized I'd only have one more minute to live, I probably would agonize during that last minute- wishing I'd be able to hold my loved ones hand...
Maybe it's just me, but I think this movie just ended terribly.
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