Part of the old(er) school style of romance movie era, Sweet Home Alabama is probably a film almost everyone would recognize.
Sweet Home Alabama (2002) Film Review
Escaping her past means leaving behind her hometown in Alabama and heading to the brighter city lights to find success. This is what Melanie Carmichael (Reese Witherspoon) is on the cusp of. Putting on her very first solo fashion show, and designing clothes is exciting, but it’s Andrew (Patrick Dempsey) who makes her happy. A politician scrutinized by the public, Melanie creates the ideal upbringing and story for her past only to find she must return home before she can go ahead with a future.
Back home, Melanie is in reality a Smooter who had no kind of fairy tale upbringing. She’s daughter to a hard-working couple and still a wife to Jake (Josh Lucas), the high school boyfriend she once loved. Melanie isn’t about to let her past hold her back from a future she wants, which means it’s time to head back to Alabama…
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During the 90s and some of the 2000s, there was an entire period where romantic comedies seem to rule the screen. That era of film has been missing for quite some time now. However, if you visit a ranking of some of the romance movies from this era, one that you’d likely find on any such list is Sweet Home Alabama. It’s one of the, for its era and genre, classics.
With a recognizable and really fun cast, including Melanie Lynskey and Mary Lynn Rajskub (of 24 fame) in smaller roles. It’s Reese, Josh and Patrick playing the characters we become most invested in. The film takes us through the ups and downs of their lives, some that tease a smile and other that will emotionally wring the heart. But no matter what, these are characters we do want the best for. Even when they’re at their worst and need to give apologies, they’re ultimately likable. All of which means we want them to find happiness in the end.
With its fun antics and quirky characters, Sweet Home Alabama is that ideal re-watch anytime you want something nostalgic. It won’t suit everyone, as is true of any movie, but within its genre, it’s one of my favorites. It helps that it features a cast we came to love through either an iconic feature role or a beloved television character. It’s a good time movie that ends up bringing characters right where they should be.
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Content: there’s not too much in this that will bother. It’s actually a pretty fair PG-13 rating. There is some inappropriate language (sexual innuendo); and a sequence talking about secrets and “outing” someone who is romantically interested in the same sex. Characters become dunk and make bad choices as a result. There’s some crude comments (nothing terrible) and discussion about a pregnancy that ends in miscarriage.
Photos: Touchstone Pictures