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Overall Rating
2.92

Awesome: 18.18%
Worth A Look: 11.69%
Average: 24.68%
Pretty Bad35.06%
Total Crap: 10.39%

5 reviews, 47 user ratings



Sweet November
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by Greg Muskewitz

"Charlize wins points, Keanu squelches his."
3 stars

A rechauffé of the 1968 movie of the same name, 2001's version of "Sweet November" stars Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron. The premise of the tear-jerker is not all that unlike "The Family Man" recently, and without having seen the '68 version, "The Family Man" at least gives a current set of standards to match it against.

Like Nicolas Cage's hot-shot Manhattan job, Reeves is an aggressive, prickish ad designer living it up to the 'a' in affluence. When he prevents the coquettish Theron from getting her driver's license, she manipulates him to get what she wants. What she really wants, though, is for him to live with her for a month and experience freedom --not unlike Cage's "glimpse" of "what would have happened if..." It takes some tough measures, but once he acquiesces, she's destined to show him what love and life is all about. (Which includes parading around with her cross-dressing friend among other things.) The relationship is turbulent at first, especially when he finds out about her monthly obsession ("I think I'll take myself out of monthly rotation while I'm ahead") while she explains the surfactant reasons of the month. ("Long enough to be meaningful, but short enough to keep me out of trouble") This, of course, all changes when he finds out about her Hodgkin’s' Lymphoma. Directed by Pat O'Conner, renowned for his tedium pieces ("Inventing the Abbotts") and his pathos-pumped pieces ("Dancing at Lughnasa"), he superficially and unbelievably skims over the first half of the movie. Reeves' character is simply too unlikable, which wasn't the full intention of the plot. It only makes for less of an effect when he goes through his transmutational romantic phase. And it goes without validity and realisticness, that he actually would have agreed to her proposal. Nearing the second half, it does develop more of the romantic aura that it was after, but it feels like a lightly sprayed condensation. Too little too late. And the addition of certain mood songs, particularly Enya, shows just how easy it is to manipulate the audience into thinking something is touching, when it is nothing more than the song itself. Heck, even I was briefly caught up in it. O'Conner proceeds here with the pathos more than the tedium, but he also succumbs to the pretentious "stylization" of colored lenses (yellow, orange, blue) and other such photographic faux pas. I have never really minded Keanu Reeves much before; his acting doesn't seem to bother me like I know it does others, but there is no other way to circumnavigate his horrendousness here. Purely bad, purely artificial. Charlize Theron, and believe me, this is quite difficult for me to admit, is actually pretty decent here. (Though, she is made to look like a melange of Ashley Judd and Angelina Jolie.) Theron, who has been relegated to the bottom of my non-favorites list, due to the fact that she's been in way too much lately, and not very good roles either, has far expired as any kind of 'It Girl' and her attention is quite annoying. But, best for her sake and ours, she fares well here. Unfortunately, Reeves and Theron do not rekindle the strong chemistry they both shared so well in "The Devil's Advocate." As a last strength, and I know this to be true from the original only because I asked, "Sweet November" doesn't lose any points for staying true to the real ending. It's a pensive, but substantial punctuation mark.

(Sidebar note: Co-star Greg Germann, of TV's hilarious "Ally McBeal," also appears in this week's release of "Down to Earth." I'd let you know if he fared any better than his similarly prickish character here, only the publicity agency decided to screen three movies for this week all on one night. Lucky for me, I had already seen the real pick of the week, "In the Mood for Love," in a screening several weeks ago.)

Final Verdict: C+.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3911&reviewer=172
originally posted: 02/23/01 09:16:17
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell not a bad flick 4 stars
1/05/14 Charles Tatum Film actually gets better as it goes along 3 stars
2/22/10 Elinor I loved it, so touching and individual, enya got heart strings. I cried, i don't cry at mo 5 stars
8/21/09 Aakash Really heart touching movie with great soul in d movie. I was really choked 5 stars
2/02/07 Maria great and very kind movie...actually teaches you something 5 stars
12/12/06 Terra Landolt Keanu Reeves sucked, but it was a great movie and Charlize is freaking beautiful! 5 stars
1/31/06 Natalie I liked the movie. Does anyone know what the dog breed is that she rescued is? 3 stars
12/14/05 gresa one of the bests movies i have ever seen in my life.i'm verry touched... 5 stars
10/26/05 Michel personal best... 5 stars
8/17/05 Bribrat123h I didn't like it to much 2 stars
2/19/05 Jeff Anderson CHARLIZE THERON IS A TRUE SAINT IN THIS FILM, THE SAME CAN'T BE SAID FOR THE OTHER ASSHOLES 1 stars
11/04/04 Achmad "Kakak" Fauzi It is the romantic one, a sad romantic film! 3 stars
1/20/04 kaz does make you stop and think.. 4 stars
10/29/03 Vanessa "All we have are our memories." This is one memorable film. 5 stars
10/21/03 Jim Eye opener for life! 5 stars
10/06/03 TheOthersFan one critic summed it up nicely: "A movie this bad means always having to say you're sorry." 1 stars
3/26/03 Jack Sommersby Not as bad as you've heard. 3 stars
1/07/03 The Big Ragu This movie ROCKS 5 stars
1/04/03 Jack Sommersby Shameless but nontheless entertaining. Nicely acted. 3 stars
12/21/02 palaboy101 Charlize was great in "Double Jeopardy", can't say the same for this... 2 stars
10/28/02 monika entertaining movie with a sad end 4 stars
7/27/02 karen goldstein corney, unbelievable & pathetic dialogue 2 stars
5/15/02 Blake This movie was romantic and sad but a good film. 5 stars
3/05/02 Julia Cox Jenny, please say you haven't seen HERE ON EARTH! 2 stars
3/05/02 Jenny Tullwartz Charlize angel? NOT!! Closest I ever came to being glad a "protagonist" was dying. 2 stars
2/25/02 Donnia Colbourne Like everything about it except for the ending 4 stars
2/14/02 shelley smith Made me think the original film was actually good and I saw it on cable. 2 stars
1/31/02 mandy bertram this movie is the best movie in the world i watch it all the time i love it 5 stars
1/03/02 mona JUST GREAT 5 stars
11/12/01 Gracy Lionheart This movie was unbelievable, boring, and (as others have put it) contrived. UGH!!! 1 stars
9/27/01 Monica who hates some actors out there boring movie. Reeves makes it even worse. 1 stars
9/11/01 TabbsCW Contrived as hell. 1 stars
8/21/01 Monday Morning If you have more than a room-temperature IQ, this will insult your intelligence. 1 stars
8/12/01 iluvcolby i didn't like the way it ended but it made me cry and it was good but not the best 4 stars
6/18/01 Peter Brook Has there ever been an actor so stiff as Keanu? 2 stars
6/14/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) I booed at it. And I'm usually so polite...*evil grin* 1 stars
4/25/01 Ashley I really like most of this movie, good humor, good cast but really shittie ending. 4 stars
3/27/01 SWEET 13 I THOUGHT THIS MOVIE WAS AWESOME! I DON'T CARE WHAT ANYBODY SAYS!! IT WAS SUPERB!!! 5 stars
3/06/01 Red Scorpion script could have been better but actors pulled it off - made me overlook problems. 4 stars
2/21/01 And Don't Call me Shirley I farted. Then someone took me to the bathroom and I farted my ass off. Bwaaaaaat! 2 stars
2/20/01 John Lyons Nowhere near as good as the original. Reeves sucks. 3 stars
2/20/01 Poetchuck 4 handkerchief movie 4 stars
2/19/01 Gerald Ford It scared me. I wanted to walk out but they locked the doors. 1 stars
2/19/01 Jenny-My-Fur it was cute, and it made me cry! 5 stars
2/18/01 TimmyToday I laughed. I cried. I wondered what the hell Keanu was saying. 3 stars
2/17/01 ray chick flick 2 stars
2/16/01 babydoll13 =0) keanu reeves is soooooo fine 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  16-Feb-2001 (PG-13)

UK
  13-Jul-2001 (12)

Australia
  12-Apr-2001 (M)


Directed by
  Pat O'Connor

Written by
  Kurt Voelker

Cast
  Keanu Reeves
  Charlize Theron
  Jason Isaacs
  Greg Germann
  Lauren Graham
  Frank Langella



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