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Sweet Home Alabama
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey, and Candice Bergen
Directed by: Andy Tennant
Rated: PG13



Sweet lord, is this Wonder© brand white bread and generic yellow mustard! Plain old typical. I fear the screenwriter never visited Alabama. The script is riddled with Southern stereotypes not seen since the early forties. The whole thing's like a bad attempt at "The Grapes of Wrath" meets "Friends."

Am I the only one in the theater that noticed Reese Witherspoon's character, Alabamian transplant Melanie, falls in and out of her Alabamian accent? It was so annoying. Hello, Reese? Yeah, you get like twenty million a flick now. Could you hire a coach and learn to drawl like an Alabamian, or at least a long transplanted Georgian? I mean the film is called Sweet Home Alabama!

Story goes Meg Ryan, er, I mean Melanie Carmichael (Reese - peanut butter on a- Witherspoon) lives in the big city, New York. She's a perky, likeable rapidly growing fashion designer whose life is on the right track. She comes complete with gorgeous hair and a handsome, successful, beau of perfection on her arm.

Her beau, Andrew (Patrick Dempsey), is simply mad for her. Filled with the heroin of love, he decides to pop the question in an material girl's wet dream way. He gets Tiffany's Fine Jewelry of Manhattan to close for an evening. He's an upcoming politician and his mother's the mayor, so it's believable…Tiffany's reopens just for them as the surprised Melanie is met on one knee by Andrew and offered the pick of the engagement ring litter- the 24 carrot Tiffany's litter that is! Natch, she agrees to wed the young romantic.

Ah, but there's a catch. Mel's got a big old catfish of a secret back in them thar woods of Alabama. Seems as a youngun, she done got her self hitched to a swell looking high school sweetheart and then did nuthin' to undos it!

So she must saunter back to Alabama and detach from an old spouse. This is where they start to lose me and the I-aint-buying-everything-you-feed-my-big-brain-Hollywood-movie-people! part of the audience. See, she has been gone from Alabama for over seven years. But when we meet her estranged husband he's still pining away for her and has just plum avoided the signing of the fancy fangled documents. PLEASE.

So the humor - and I use that term in its lowest elementary term dear listeners - begins. Little Miss City comes home to the backwards haunts of her yesteryears. But, of course, all her friends and kin are embarrassingly simple and still too plain for her. She tries so hard to just bare with it while her husband Jake (Josh Lucas) tries to win her back…

Okay, it's been seven years! He's alright looking, aside from a couple of impediments; one that makes his mouth region look like he's perpetually sucking a lemon, and the other is a continual squint like the Griffs lights are too bright. But, Jake's a classic-style L.L.Bean looker. So, what in the holy name of Elvis would this guy be doing still smitten with this polar opposite city gal? Exactly. It's a tad far fetched - it's a romantic comedy - go with it I suppose. BUT, the characters are so unrealistically mundane that one just prays she leaps back on that aircraft and gets her designer buttocks back to the big city. Cue theme music to Green Acres here, please. Ah, but again, the "relationship" between her and Jake is just one of the films eight billion subtle annoyances.

Reese does Reese. She's cute but she's starting to be Reese on film. She can do better, I've seen it! Rent Election or even the adorable Legally Blonde. Here, her "character" pouts and whines and degrades while trying to endear herself to us. Yech. She looked pretty though.

This Josh Lucas just misses being a studmuffin extravaganza. It's the afore mentioned lemon sucking bit. What is that? He looks like Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson got themselves genetically spliced together for a quick spawning. He's an all right actor, though.

It was nice to see Patrick Dempsey all suited up and twinkling. He's a nice looking chap anyway, but throw the guy in an Armani suit and let the purring begin. Meow pfst-pfst.

This is pretty bad. If you're a Reese fan, have a Reese night and rent a few titles at the local video barn. If not, opt for another flick.

Snack recommendation: Fried green tomatoes and frosty beer in a glass mug.


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