It’s been said that Reese Witherspoon’s choice of film scripts is often below her caliber of actress, so it’s no surprise that her headlong jump into romantic comedy, Andy Tennant’s Sweet Home Alabama, doesn’t live up to classic (Annie Hall) or modern (Sleepless In Seattle) date movie standards. Sure, C. Jay Cox’s script avoids the clichéd pitfalls of chick flick’s past (Witherspoon’s choice in a husband is never carved in stone and the expected “jerk” doesn’t reveal himself at the very last minute) but what isn’t predictably unpredictable just ends up making you yearn for last year’s Serendipity (in case you’ve never seen a romantic comedy—or read the film’s title—we won’t give away which man Witherspoon picks for a husband). Witherspoon is, of course, charming as Melanie Carmichael, a former cat-killing redneck who leaves her husband, parents and accent behind for the bright lights of Manhattan’s fashion district. Rounding out the cast: Patrick Dempsey as Melanie’s tall, dark and handsome fiancé Andrew; Candice Bergen as Andrew’s mother and New York’s lady Mayor; an almost likeable Josh Lucas as Melanie’s hick husband Jake; and Ethan Embry as good ol’ gay boy Bobby Ray. (Luckily, a bolt of lightning keeps Dakota Fanning at bay.) I suppose it would be asking too much for Melanie to make the practical decision and drop poor Bobby Ray off in Chelsea on her way back to the arms of her rich, heart-of-gold, Tiffany’s-toting fiancé. But now this here ain’t about no practicality—it’s about love ya’ll!
- Andy Tennant
- C. Jay Cox
- Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey, Fred Ward, Mary Kay Place, Jean Smart, Candice Bergen, Ethan Embry, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Matkevich, Dakota Fanning, Thomas Curtis
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