Sacharin Home Alabama

So, I took Jen to see Sweet Home Alabama last night. Oh my, what a crap movie. I’ll start with the two good things about the movie, and then go into the myriad sins it commits. There were three highlights: Candace Bergen, Ethan Embry and Fred Ward, all underused, but they managed to stand out like shiny bits of corn in this turd of a movie.

Ethan Embry played a closetted redneck, and did a decent job playing it evenly and without queening out. It was well done and subtle. Fred Ward was funny and showed why he should get more work than he does. Ms. Bergen was caustic and had some good lines as the mayor of New York, but she ends the movie being completely humiliated, and kind of ruins her character, through no fault of her own.

Now, on to the crap. This movie was equal to the horrible Serendipity in pure shmaltz and predictability. It was horrible. It’s an unspeakable abuse of the sacred romantic comedy formula. In a better movie, there would have been a twist or two, and something that sets it apart. This movie gave me nothing, nothing at all. There was no chemistry between Reese Witherspoon and her not-yet-divorced ex. There was no real drama either. Almost everyone involved slept through the movie, and nothing rises above the level of Lifetime Movie of the Week (alternate title, “Mother, May I Marry a Yankee?”).

If you’re stupid, you’ll like this movie. If you have an IQ higher than 70, and have ever seen any other romantic comedy (both of which are used for this movie as aspiration and hyperbole, not as an indication of the actual content of the film), skip it and go rent When Harry Met Sally, Prelude to a Kiss or even Sleepless in Seattle.