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Overall Rating

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

5 reviews, 47 user ratings

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Sweet November
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by EricDSnider

"Sweet merciful November, this movie sucks."
2 stars

"Sweet November" has a few moments in which Keanu Reeves's character, Nelson Moss, is asleep. At these times, we can see plainly that what we've always suspected is literally true: Keanu's facial expression when he's asleep is the same as when he's awake.

Nelson Moss is a fast-lane San Francisco advertising executive who spends money recklessly and treats his girlfriend shabbily. Everything can be bought and sold as far as he's concerned, and that includes paying off a woman named Sara Deever (Charlize Theron) when he inadvertently makes her fail her DMV test.

Sara, a free-spirited New Age succubus, will not be bought, however. Her license suspended, she gets Nelson to drive her around and eventually gets him back to her place. There she proposes a crazy plan that will sound crazy when I tell you about it and sounds no less crazy in the movie: She wants Nelson to move in with her for exactly one month. He is to quit working and let her "fix" him, take him from his money-driven lifestyle and teach him a simple existence.

Nelson tells her this is crazy talk, of course, which it is. But when he gets fired from his job for a hot dog-related debacle, and his girlfriend leaves him, well, you know, what the heck. Why not move in with the stranger for a month? Why not go ahead and have sex with her the first evening, too, in what is possibly the most out-of-nowhere, unjustified physical relationship in movie history? I mean, why not?

Sure enough, Sara starts to get Nelson to think about something other than money and power (Screenwriting 101: people with money are bad). They befriend the pleasant transvestites who live downstairs from Sara. Nelson and Sara fall in love, don't ask me why. Then there is a tragedy that has already been loudly hinted at in the film's advertisements, but which I won't spoil here except to say that it's another standard Screenwriting 101 technique. Then everything turns all weepy and melancholy. We'll call it "Autumn in San Francisco" (except that you probably didn't see "Autumn in New York" -- lucky you -- and therefore don't get the reference).

I hate to beat a dead horse here, but Keanu Reeves can't act. Or maybe he can and has just chosen not to so far. He's had moments of adequacy ("The Gift"), and even adeptness ("Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"). But he's mostly just had moments of having a stuporous look on his face and saying lines as if reading them for the first time and not bothering to make them sound real. (He is utterly convincing as a cocky ad exec, especially in his big meltdown scene.)

Keanu's slack-jawed, I-just-got-hit-in-the-face-with-a-board expression in particular does "Sweet November" a disservice. This is a romance; we should probably see some emotion in the guy's face. We should probably see some indication that he and his co-star have some chemistry together. Charlize Theron is good enough as Sara, though her featherweight acting technique, which makes her characters all seem believable but shallow, is fast wearing thin. (Putting her in eight movies a year is not helping any.) And she's no match for the park bench that is Keanu Reeves anyway; even Audrey Hepburn would be dull as a butter knife if paired with him.

Did I mention Keanu sings in this movie? Yeah, he does. It's not supposed to be funny, but it is.

San Francisco is a lovely city, and many scenes in the film reflect that. Jason Isaacs is nice as one of the transvestite neighbors. And that's all the good I have to say about this dismal, cliché-ridden fiasco.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 02/16/01 18:18:44
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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
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
3/06/01 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
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  16-Feb-2001 (PG-13)

  13-Jul-2001 (12)

  12-Apr-2001 (M)

Directed by
  Pat O'Connor

Written by
  Kurt Voelker

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

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