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Overall Rating
2.85

Awesome: 24.66%
Worth A Look: 11.64%
Average: 16.44%
Pretty Bad: 18.49%
Total Crap28.77%

8 reviews, 98 user ratings


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Sweet Home Alabama
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Rob Gonsalves

"Reese is better than this."
2 stars

Watching Reese Witherspoon in 'Sweet Home Alabama' is like looking at a daisy floating in a toilet: She's the best thing in it, but you wonder what she's doing there.

After years of being terrific in movies whose audiences ranged from few to nobody, Witherspoon finally broke through in Legally Blonde, an agreeable enough trifle, provided that you agreed to overlook the film's rampant lameness and concentrate on Reese. Sadly, her overdue success appears to have taught Witherspoon that sharp, offbeat scripts (Freeway, Pleasantville, Election, etc.) are not the way to go, and so we get Sweet Home Alabama, not a frame of which, curiously, was actually filmed there; Georgia and Florida stand in for Alabama, though New York City gets to play itself.

Here, Witherspoon is Melanie Carmichael, though her given name is Smooter, and her married name -- from a "just-outta-high-school" union she's spent seven years forgetting -- is Perry. Whichever Melanie she is, she's far removed from her roots in Pigeon Creek, Alabama, and now designs fabulous clothes in fabulous New York. It's every gal's dream, except that most gals, I presume, don't dream of Patrick Dempsey. He plays Andrew, Melanie's fawning and moist-eyed fiancé, and I really must apologize for chortling about the waifishness of Stuart Townsend in my review of Trapped; I hadn't yet seen Sweet Home Alabama, you see, and Dempsey makes Townsend look like Lee Marvin.

Melanie hightails it back home to serve her long-estranged husband -- Jake (Josh Lucas), a good ol' boy partial to beer and bloodhounds -- with divorce papers, which he won't sign at first, perhaps because the director told him this would be a very expensive short film if he acquiesced too soon. That director, incidentally, is one Andy Tennant, of Ever After and Anna and the King; he specializes in chick flicks in which he casts a superpowered woman (Drew Barrymore, Jodie Foster, and now Reese) and then -- as if this were necessary -- drains the life and color out of everyone and everything around her. Fortunately, this doesn't work with Josh Lucas, a sly presence in indie films (The Deep End, American Psycho) apparently now being groomed for hunk status. Lucas has the wit to shrug this off; he has a way of seeming amused by whatever the script (or Reese) tosses at him.

Sweet Home Alabama does nothing so crass as having Melanie do fashion make-overs for all her old Alabama friends and family, though it might've been a little more fun if it had done something so crass. The movie is formulaic down to the floor, and pads itself out unattractively with scenes like the one in which Melanie gets drunk and insults everyone in a bar; it's an ugly, wrongheaded scene, and it's followed by several scenes wherein we have to watch Melanie going around apologizing. Surely it's the screenwriter who should offer contrition, particularly for giving us a movie in which the only black people we see are either maids or a swishy gay designer. Andy Tennant, too, should look sorrowful for coating the soundtrack with two bloodless covers of the title song (one by Jewel) but never allowing the Lynyrd Skynyrd original into the mix (gotta make room for Avril Lavigne and No Doubt).

Everything leads to Melanie's wedding with Andrew, whose mother is played by Candice Bergen as a nail-tough broad (and mayor of New York!) who shows more testosterone than her son. It's always good to see Fred Ward and Mary Kay Place (as Melanie's stereotyped parents living in a double-wide), and I was cheered, as always, by the presence of Melanie Lynskey, the usually-overlooked other half of the Heavenly Creatures duo (Kate Winslet gets all the press); Lynskey, a New Zealander born and bred, does a more convincing 'Bama accent than does Witherspoon (who hails from Tennessee).

But everyone revolves around Melanie, just as the movie revolves around Witherspoon. She deserves stardom -- hell, give her a throne and tiara -- but she doesn't have to make it so easy for herself. Like Melanie, Reese is in danger of forgetting her roots -- the days when she was young and hungry and taking chances in weird movies. It'd be a shame if she left that behind.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=6152&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/10/07 16:19:56
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User Comments

5/12/11 RLan It felt like a southern movie make by someone who spent very little time in the south! 2 stars
12/14/10 Tracy Landon I'm from the South & LOVE S.H.A. It reflects how Southerners have strong moral character! 5 stars
10/04/09 LoveIt Love the movie! Very funny and a wonderful story line! 5 stars
9/26/08 Shaun Wallner Funny Movie! 5 stars
8/30/08 JSICA WOW! OH EM GEE. Iono why I see one stars on here.. This is one of my favorite movies! 5 stars
6/16/08 PAUL SHORTT NOT GREAT BY ANY, ANY, ANY MEANS BUT A DECENT ENOUGH 2 stars
5/15/08 cathy I loved this movie. We need more movies like this instead of the trash they are making now 5 stars
1/28/08 L.J. Worst movie I have ever seen. Nasty protagonist and horribly directed. 1 stars
10/29/07 mb loved it. Beautiful romantic story. 5 stars
9/02/07 jozee martel nice relax movie 5 stars
1/16/07 David Pollastrini Reese is hot! 3 stars
10/22/06 Vickie Loved it, and I am looking to move to a town just like it. 5 stars
9/28/06 Kayla Greatest chick flic ever!!!!! 5 stars
5/06/06 Ashley Hinz Saw it, loved it, bought it as soon as possible. 5 stars
4/09/06 SHREE CRIBB THI MOVIE REALLY HITS HOME BEING AS THOUGH I AM FROM ALABAMA. REESE WITHERSPOON IS THE BEST 5 stars
1/09/06 Chris Worst Film Ever. 1 stars
11/15/05 piush good for people in love 4 stars
11/03/05 Priscilla Postlethwaite Pretty bad to barely avg, Sweet Home, Alabama is between Jenifer and Anniston. 3 stars
6/14/05 i am god can anyone say........STUPIDIST SHIT I EVER SEEN.. the ruined th title of a classic song 1 stars
2/17/05 Jeff Anderson Witherspoon is sadly wasted in this boring & predictable comedy, but Dempsey is TRULY GREAT 2 stars
11/24/04 Monster W. Kung This movie is a piece of mierda! 1 stars
11/14/04 anwar i loved that movie because it pictured love as a pure thing and not just a sexual desire 5 stars
7/13/04 Connie Maggerise I am from Alabama near Coon Dog Cemetery, it is really a lot like we are, double wides and 5 stars
7/08/04 Denise another predictable romance 3 stars
6/27/04 Daveman In trying to be inoffensive it winds up offending more than most films could. 2 stars
6/05/04 Jamal this movie sucks, so boring, so stupid, so lame. 1 stars
4/08/04 INES THE MOVIE IS VERY GOOD,AND I REALLY LIKED IT..,... 5 stars
3/12/04 cereal lover a total piece of shit and waist of talent 1 stars
1/14/04 Chupa Chups the best bits were showcased in the trailer so the actual movie seemed boring 3 stars
12/23/03 Chris I loved this movie. A chick flick that everyone can like. 4 stars
10/25/03 Mel Josh is edible 5 stars
9/29/03 Honolulu Tur I like Reese & Josh but boy oh boy was this a steaming pile of garbage or what 1 stars
9/01/03 Rhonda Blankenship Sweet Home, Alabama is between Jenifer & Anniston. 3 stars
8/31/03 Arch-vile So bad I couldn't believe my eyes. 1 stars
8/18/03 Julie Loved it!! Haved watched it over and over 5 stars
7/29/03 sherry donald every actor on that movie and the director was great except for the damn dog 5 stars
7/28/03 francis innocuous time-passer 3 stars
7/23/03 Whitney McBurney I bought this on video and that is saying alot because I buy VERY few movies 5 stars
7/22/03 carol king LOVE IT!!!!!!!! 5 stars
6/20/03 Becca Marie Jamieson Best movie done in a long time 5 stars
6/18/03 Jenna Kase It was a great movie because they didn't make the guy she dumped look like "the bad guy" 5 stars
6/16/03 Arlene Titshaw Seeing Murphy Brown get slugged to the ground was worth it! 3 stars
6/16/03 Rhonda Blankenship Sweet Home, Alabama is between Jenifer & Anniston. 3 stars
6/13/03 Monster W. Kung Head-explodingly bad 1 stars
5/23/03 Misty Its the best movie made in a while 5 stars
5/05/03 Phil M. Aficionado Basic pointless rom com replete with stereotypes standard plot twists 2 stars
4/15/03 Jin Awful. 10 year olds kissing? Yeah right. 1 stars
4/08/03 pj "Whee, she punched her! Shes one of us again!" eeep! Please, Reese, come back! 3 stars
4/06/03 Ralph A good light commedy 4 stars
4/02/03 natasha_theobald not really funny, slightly more romantic 2 stars
3/13/03 Jason Martin "Sweet Home Alabama" is a good movie about finding yourself where you came from. 5 stars
3/12/03 Brandy I loved it! I guess "y'all" just have to be from AL to understand its like that EVERYWHERE! 5 stars
3/11/03 Arlene Titshaw Seeing Murphy Brown get slugged to the ground was worth it! 3 stars
3/05/03 Robert Cooley Thought it was great 5 stars
3/05/03 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Reese Witherspoon makes unexpectedly impressive rebound from that LEGALLY BOMBED caca! 4 stars
3/01/03 karen PIECE OF POO. not funny at ALL. STUPID STUPID STUPID. 1 stars
2/26/03 Jake LOVED IT!!!!! 5 stars
2/25/03 Jacob I wish I didn't see this movie. 1 stars
2/20/03 Would You Like To Know I got it yesturday and I've already watched it 12 times...my parents are about to kill me!! 5 stars
2/19/03 Sarah Doolittle It was the Best movie! I loved it!! :) 5 stars
2/18/03 John L Nowhere near as good as Doc Hollywood 2 stars
2/12/03 Jackie I LOVED this movie! I don't care what anyone says, I thought it was adorable! 5 stars
2/12/03 Kristen this was truly a sweet movie 5 stars
2/10/03 DJ very sickening story, attempts to glorify ignorance as some kind of virtue . FLUSH THE crap 1 stars
2/09/03 tikki love josh, wife was a bitch, fiance was too good for her 4 stars
2/08/03 Dao Tran This movie was very sweet and good! 5 stars
2/01/03 Brandice Olivotto I loved This movie how can you say that wait you must be a guy who hates chick flicks 5 stars
1/30/03 ali awesome 5 stars
1/23/03 Lisa Blundell Very sweet and shy-funny movie. 4 stars
1/20/03 james watch this one with someone special 3 stars
1/18/03 Colin Selby THE MORE I THINK ABOUT THS FILM THE MORE I WANY TO FLUSH IT DOWN THE TOILET 1 stars
1/18/03 Bobby If you like humor, originality, or good acting, you're looking at the wrong movie 1 stars
1/16/03 Joanna Callan Really good girly movie but you may need tissue Overall really enjoyable.s 5 stars
1/08/03 tina waste of time/money 1 stars
1/03/03 Jackson Matson Erik, you are a anal licking moron for missing the vitality and integrity in this film. 4 stars
12/27/02 hab99 was not as terrible as I first thought. A pleasant no-brainer 3 stars
12/25/02 shelley it was a fun movie not to be taken too seriously 4 stars
11/29/02 Gaiia i wouldn't see it 1 stars
11/10/02 john i havent seen it 1 stars
11/08/02 Leonard Good,Worth to watch 4 stars
10/28/02 Gitaar I would call it a chick-flick, but my date even hated it, completly predictable 1 stars
10/27/02 MarktheShark6 It wasn't worth the $8 to see it in the theatre but it wasn't terrible. 2 stars
10/26/02 Nick it bites and shouldnt been shown, you could predict the rest of the movie 1 stars
10/14/02 Angry Black Man I like Patrick Dempsey, but I hated this movie. It was stupid!!! 1 stars
10/09/02 Uncle Salty Yet another mindless romantic comedy from the makers of EVERY OTHER ROMANTIC COMEDY! 1 stars
10/09/02 James why does the rest of my country hate me? 1 stars
10/06/02 jessica A GREAT FILM 5 stars
10/02/02 Alex "BIG TURD ALABAMA" 1 stars
10/01/02 Film Dude Fucking terrible 1 stars
9/30/02 brien could have been worse... but not MucH worse 2 stars
9/30/02 p-dog blows goats 1 stars
9/30/02 buttface mcbuttface horrible horrible horrible god-awful crappy idiotic total shitfest 1 stars
9/29/02 Flick Chick it was good - no, not academy award material, but entertaining. 4 stars
9/28/02 Dale Jones VERY GOOD, fun movie. Great cast, good story. Won't win any awards, but tastefully done. 5 stars
9/28/02 Danielle Ophelia Hollywood films enough movies in NC...they know their Southern stereotypes are bullshit! 1 stars
9/27/02 Ramblin Wreck Proving once again that only Southerners are the people you can legally make fun of 1 stars
9/23/02 Charles A great actress in a stupid, unoriginal, uninspired movie. 1 stars
9/21/02 Kisuta Better than I expected. Well written. Good plot twists. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  27-Sep-2002 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  19-Dec-2002




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