Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey
Director: Andy Tennant
Running Time: 109 mins
Sweet Home Alabama is an American film about a successful young fashion designer living in New York who, after getting engaged, is forced to return to her Southern hometown in order to get a divorce with her former, or at least legally current husband.
If you’ve seen a romantic comedy, by which I mean any romantic comedy, before, then you know exactly what’s going to happen in Sweet Home Alabama. As predictable as the genre comes, there’s not much to write home about with this movie, even though it’s a fairly harmless watch.
Let’s start on that note, because it’s fair to say that Sweet Home Alabama isn’t a film made with gripping drama or hilarious humour in mind. It’s certainly meant to be fun, something that’s debatable when you come to watch it, but it’s never going to be a masterpiece of cinema.
Does that mean it gets a free pass in the fact that it’s not that good? No, because while Sweet Home Alabama is never meant to be a riveting and innovative piece of cinema, it’s a really weak entry into one of cinema’s most formulaic and predictable genres.
Following the story of a young woman brought up in the Deep South but now living the high life in New York, the film plays on a rather boring view of the cultural divide in the USA, relying on generic and repetitive stereotypes of both sides that it disingenuously tries to debunk.
Inevitably, the story ends up with our leading lady, Reese Witherspoon, having to choose between a man from her southern heritage and a man from her new life in New York, with all the predictable moral trappings of what seems like one of the most formulaic stories in Hollywood.
Coupled with fairly bland humour and less-than-stellar performances, Sweet Home Alabama proves the ultimate formulaic romantic comedy. Predictable from the first scene right until the credits roll, and far from the funny, light-hearted film it’s meant to be, it’s a frustrating and ultimately dull watch, which is why I’m giving it a 6.2 overall.