Sweet Home Alabama Review
By Shawn McKenzie 09/30/2002
Warning! Minor spoilers!
Do you ever go to a movie that you already know how it is going to end just because the trailer was so funny and you like the actors? That’s how Sweet Home Alabama was for me.
Sweet Home Alabama is the story of Melanie Carmichael (Reese Witherspoon), a fashion designer in New York City. She is living a great life between her successful career and spending time with her boyfriend, Andrew Hennings (Patrick Dempsey), the son of New York’s mayor, Katherine Hennings (Candice Bergen.) One night before an event Melanie and Andrew are supposed to attend, Andrew asks Melanie for her hand in marriage. She says yes, but before they can get married, she has to take care of one little problem: she is still married to the man she grew up with in her hometown in Alabama. She goes home to get Jake Perry (Josh Lucas), her husband, to sign the divorce papers. This is her first visit home in years, and while some things change, most things stay the same. After failing to get Jake to sign the papers on the first attempt, she realizes that she will have to stay in town for a little bit, so she goes to her parent’s house. Her parents, Earl (Fred Ward) and Pearl (Mary Kay Place), welcome her home. It’s while she is in town we find out her real last name is Smooter, not Carmichael (she changed it to sound more urban.) While in town, she hangs out with old friends, like Bobby Ray (Ethan Embry), who she accidentally “outs” in a drunken rant one night. She slowly falls back in love with her husband, and as I had accurately predicted, dumps Andrew at the alter for Jake.
Can you really tell me that you didn’t see that coming? Everyone I talked to who went to see the movie knew that she was going to leave Andrew for Jake, based on the trailer. The trailer also served as a good representation of the funny, cute tone of the film.
Witherspoon has long proved to me that she can carry a film, but after last year’s Legally Blonde became a blockbuster, she proved it to everyone else. I first became aware of her in the 1996 movie Freeway. Since then she has stolen the show in everything she has been in. She was the perfect choice to play Melanie.
As far as the rest of the cast, they all did a fine job, with a few exceptions. I didn’t think Ward was a good choice as Melanie’s dad. I’ve never thought of Ward as a rural-type actor (he’ll always be Remo Williams to me.) Embry doesn’t really pull off gay very well, but maybe the way he did it was intended, since his character was supposed to hide the fact.
Even though the story is highly predictable and will be more likely preferred by women than men, I liked it. You won’t care that you see the end coming because you will enjoy just visiting Sweet Home Alabama.
Get the original soundtrack here:
Buy this album at
SEE THIS MOVIE!
Catch this movie at the theater if you can...
Wait until it comes out on video...
Wait until it plays on HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc...
Demand your money back, even if you saw it for free!