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.
Performances – Reese 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.
Story – The 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.
Settings – The 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.
Final Thoughts – This 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.