Sweet Home Alabama (2002)

Director: Andy Tennant

Writer: C Jay Cox (Screenplay) Douglas J Eboch (Story)

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey, Candice Bergen, May Kay Place, Fred Ward, Jean Smart, Ethan Embry, Melanie Lynskey

 

Plot: A young woman who’s reinvented herself as a New York socialite must return home to Alabama to obtain a divorce from her husband, after seven years of separation.


Tagline – Sometimes What You’re Looking For Is Right Where You Left It.

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sweet Rom Com

 

Story: Sweet Home Alabama starts as we see Melanie Carmichael (Witherspoon) a rising fashion designer in New York, dating the Mayor (Bergen) son Andrew Hennings (Dempsey) who proposes to her. This becomes massive news in the city, But Melanie must return to Alabama to get a divorce from her first husband Jake (Lucas) her childhood sweetheart.

Returning home Melanie gets to see how the friends and family have been living their own lives without her, how the people have changed and just how many people she left behind.

 

Thoughts on Sweet Home Alabama

 

Characters – Melanie was a small-town girl, who moved to the big city making herself the hottest name in the fashion industry, she gets engaged, but has one problem, she is still married back in her small town. She must face the people she left behind who show her how the simple life can bring them happiness, facing her husband to get the divorce to carry on with her life becomes more difficult than she imagined as she walks down memory lane. Jake Perry is the husband back in Alabama, he refuses to sign the divorce papers because he knows what that will mean, he grew up as the sweetheart of Melanie believing she is the one, while trying to make something of his life. Andrew Hennings is the fiancée in New York that will go against his mother’s wishes to marry Melanie. The rest of the characters mostly include the members of the small-town that Melanie has left behind, they all have their quirks.

PerformancesReese Witherspoon was the queen of the rom com at the turn of the century, this film shows why this was because she fits the film perfectly. Josh Lucas is good in his role and we completely believe him being from the small town. Patrick Dempsey does have a supporting role which he is good in as you can see him as the higher society guy compared to the small-town people. The rest of the cast get the laughs when you need them and give us the serious moments too.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that recreated herself to be a success, her past comes back to stop her reaching all the potential in this new life, which means she must walk down memory lane before deciding where her future is. This does show us how the past will always be important to your future and you should never forget where you came from. For rom com genre we know how this will play out and we can see the arc Melanie must go through during the film, the story will fill out the check list for the fans of the genre.

Comedy/Romance The comedy in this film comes from how the typical small-town locals are portrayed, we don’t get many psychical comedy moments. The romance leaves one woman needing to face her past love to be with her future love.

SettingsThe film is set in two main locations, the New York one shows us the new life Melanie has, while returning to Alabama we see the slower life she left behind, but loves deep down.


Scene of the Movie –
The wedding.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The small-town characters are slightly too generic.

Final ThoughtsThis might well be generic for the most part, but this works for the rom com genre which shows Reese Witherspoon shinning at what she always did best at the turn of the century.

 

Overall: Rom Com 101.

Rating

 

 

Fool’s Gold (2008)

logoDirector: Andy Tennant

Writer: John Claflin, Daniel Zelman, Andy Tennant (Screenplay) John Claflin, Daniel Zelman (Story)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, Donald Sutherland, Alexis Dziena, Ewen Bremner, Ray Winstone, Kevin Hart

 

Plot: A new clue to a whereabouts of a lost treasure rekindles a married couple’s Finn (McConaughey) and Tess (Hudson) sense of adventure and their estranged romance. Multi-millionaire Nigel (Sutherland) provides a ship for the adventure with his daughter Gemma (Dziena) who all have to avoid ruthless rapper gangster Bigg Bunny (Hart) who is also after the treasure and hires Moe (Winstone) an experienced treasure hunter.

 

Verdict: Treasure hunting fun

Story: Let’s face it if you go in to watch this expecting a serious film you will be disappointed, but if you go in looking just to be entertained you will enjoy this story. Most treasure hunting romance films are either first meeting or long suffering wife, this offers the chance to see how far people can become separated by obsession. Just enjoy this film. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Matthew McConaughey – Finn the gloried slacker who has a sense for adventure and treasure hunting, who gets himself in trouble for borrowing money of the wrong people, leaving this adventure his last chance to save his life and marriage. One of the last rom com performances from Matthew and he shows he still had it but it was time for a change. (8/10)

 matt

Actor Review: Kate Hudson – Tess the frustrated wife looking to grow up and take life a little bit more serious who reluctant agrees to go on one last hunt. Good performance that never challenges her to go to the next level. (7/10)

kate

Actor Review: Donald Sutherland – Nigel multi-millionaire who owns a boat that Tess works on and Finn talks into going on the treasure hunt. Simple performance from Donald who never needs to use his talent. (6/10)

 sutherland

Actor Review: Alexis Dziena – Gemma daughter of Nigel who is a total diva and dumb as a rock. Funny performance whose simple lines of stupidity will make you laugh. (8/10)

 gemma

Actor Review: Ewen Bremner – Alfonz Finn’s diving partner who is a little bit inappropriate at times. Good supporting role that never really develops as much as he should. (6/10)

 ewen

Actor Review: Ray Winstone – Moe experienced treasure hunter who wants to be remembered for his finds but will not resort to dirty tricks. Good performance but only a small supporting role. (6/10)

 ray

Actor Review: Kevin Hart – Bigg rapper gangster who wants to gold for himself, will kill for it. Good villainous role showing he knows nothing about the idea of treasure hunter but is drawn to gold. (8/10)

hart

Director Review: Andy Tennant – Good direction to create a fun adventure romantic comedy. (8/10)

 

Adventure: Good adventure in the treasure hunter side to the story. (8/10)

Comedy: Couple of laughs from supporting characters. (7/10)

Romance: Simple romance between the Finn and Tess. (7/10)

Believability: Treasure hunters everywhere but adding the romance side takes the believability away. (4/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: All very beautiful settings in the tropical island. (8/10)

Suggestion: This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I think most people will enjoy parts of it, it is easy to watch so just sit back and enjoy. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Gemma mixes up words while talking about her father’s boat name.

Worst Part:  Even with the peril you never think anything will happen to the good guys.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final showdown.

Funniest Scene: Gemma figures out how the boat got its name.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: Could do, but I doubt it.

Tagline: This February true love takes a dive

 

Overall: Fun Adventure Comedy

Rating 73