Edge

film review

By Diana Pastrana

Life & Art Writer

The story of this Andy Tennant (Fools Rush In) film revolves around Melanie Carmichael (Reese Witherspoon), a simple small town girl from Alabama, turned successful elite New York fashion designer, who is proposed to by her rich boyfriend Andrew (Patrick Dempsey), who just happens to be the mayor of New York’s son. In order to get married, Melanie has to go back home to Alabama to get divorced from her unrefined deadbeat husband/childhood sweetheart Jake (Joshua Lucas), and face her parents and the friends she left behind. Through all of this, her fiance is completely oblivious, as Melanie has kept the marriage and even her real name a secret.

Witherspoon’s top shelf versatility is proven in this movie, not because her character evokes any genuine emotion, due to the plot’s skim believability, but because she tries really really hard to give life to a role within a mediocre script. The acting from the rest of the cast is generally decent, except for a typecast Candice Bergen, who plays the neurotic, overprotective mother to Dempsey’s character, as seen in a gazillion other movies like Miss Congeniality.

An obvious flaw in the film is that it is loaded with stereotypes and cliches in scene after scene. For example, the fashion designer’s closest friends in New York are an African American homosexual fashion obsessive and a spoiled, foreign supermodel. Also, the people in Melanie’s hometown have mullets, drive pick-up trucks, and recreate the civil war for entertainment purposes. If the director could have taken more chances with the film might have been more successful in its contrasting presentation of lifestyle.

Although there is a palpable on-screen chemistry between Witherspoon and Lucas, it is difficult to tell how real her feelings are for him, since she seems to be more compatible with Dempsey. Another notable mistake is the fact that Lucas’ mother, played by Jean Smart, appears to be central in Witherspoon’s decision to stay with Lucas, but their relationship consists of zero substance.

Sweet Home Alabama is mildly funny and tender, yet sloppily executed and harbored by its date movie redundancy. The worst part is at the end when Jewel disrespectfully covers Lynyrd Skynyrd’s title jam. Just after the state of Alabama has wiped away almost all of its tears from this band’s tragic accident, it is forced to start weeping again, this time due to a cover song by an extremely wack folk singer/wack poet. Suddenly, this movie seems worse than it is.

Diana Pastrana can be reached at godess_Diana@hotmail.com.

October 1, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

While the University of Miami has just three Class of 2019 oral commitments on offense, the Canes ha ...

Gerald Willis’ monster season has earned another piece of national recognition. On Monday, the Miami ...

It hasn’t been a great few weeks on the recruiting trail for the Miami Hurricanes with regards to of ...

A six-pack of Heat notes, leading up to Heat-Lakers on Monday night: ▪ In the days before one of his ...

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Friday: ▪ UM coach Mark Richt hasn’t yet given any indication to the ...

Most UM Debate Team members devote 10 to 15 hours of preparation for each tournament. ...

National Geographic connects with the University of Miami to empower the next generation of storytel ...

Following national recognition for its French production of Cinderella, the Frost Opera Theater is d ...

Several UM art students are getting real-world exposure during a highly anticipated – and attended – ...

Over the past several years, more and more students are using UM Libraries as a study place, a meeti ...

Gerald Willis III added to his postseason awards list, picking up second-team All-America honors fro ...

Following its longest break of the season thus far, the No. 25/23 Miami women's basketball team ...

Miami head women's tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Friday the signing of two players ...

After a six-day layoff, the No. 25/23 Miami women's basketball team will be back in action Sund ...

University of Miami redshirt senior defensive tackle Gerald Willis III was recognized for his outsta ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.