|By Mira Harber
America offically has a new sweetheart
and her name is Reese Witherspoon. She is cute, blonde, smart and sexy
in a wholesome sort of way and she can 'open' a movie. Did you see Legally
Blonde, The Importance Of Being Earnest, Election or Freeway? Ms. Witherspoon
was a significant presence in all these films. She's been acting since
she was a teenager. I first saw her about 10 years ago as a terribly
troubled teen from a white trash background who fights for her life against
the villanous Kiefer Sutherland in Freeway. She was wonderful then, and
she's only gotten better.
The reason that I'm waxing eloquent
about Ms. Witherspoon is that she is reason enough, on her own, to go see
Sweet Home Alabama
The story isn't too terribly original.
Melanie (Witherspoon) is a smart, sassy young girl who makes it in New
York City as a world famous fashion designer and is asked for her hand
in marriage, in Tiffany's no less, by her boyfriend Andrew (Patrick
Dempsey), a JFK Jr. lookalike. There are only two tiny problems to be overcome.
1) Her boyfriends mother Kate (Candice Bergen) is the mayor of New York
and she doesn't cotton to Melanie one little bit and 2) Melanie just happens
to already be married! Yes, when she was a young girl she married her childhood
sweetheart Jake (Josh Lucas) and soon after she ran away to NYC. Now this
was seven years ago, and Jake hasn't seen her since. All these years he
has steadfastly refused to give her a divorce, and now Melanie must go
home, to her roots, see her past and confront it. Whatever will happen?
Well, if you haven't figured it
out by now, shame on you. For some reason Hollywood always likes to paint
the big smoke (aka NYC) as an evil, cold and heartless place and anywhere
small as heartfelt, salt of the earth and infinitely better. Let's see
- in real life, who do you think the girl would pick -the successful
son of a wealthy, political family or a hick from the sticks? Hmmmm…..
We get to see Melanie re-discover her roots and the aw-shuks, wonnerful
townspeople, and of course, she re-discovers her love for her ex too.
Whatever - the plot is obvious from
the get-go, but Reese Witherspoon is so charming, and her soon to be ex
a little more interesting and complex than we first give him credit for
that we don't care. I liked this movie and thought it was a fun way to
spend a couple of hours. Good date movie. The supporting cast of players
are fun too. Melanie's parents Pearl and Earl (Mary Kay Place & Fred
Ward) are played as over-the-top white trash parents who have hearts of
gold and Candice Bergen is totally over-the-top as the uber-controlling
mother of the groom. She has one of the funniest lines in the movie when
she hisses at Pearl "Oh, why don't you go home to your double-wide and
fry some chicken".
Welcome America's newest sweetheart.
Julia Roberts, move over, you've just been replaced.