Sweet Home Alabama
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     I'm happy to admit that I went to see Sweet Home Alabama just to see Reese Witherspoon.  She is great in every movie she makes, whether the movie is any good or not.  She doesn't disappoint here and the movie is OK too.  Sweet Home Alabama tells the not-very-original story of a woman (Witherspoon) from a small town in the South who is making it big in New York City as a fashion designer.  She is engaged to an up-and-coming politician (Patrick Dempsey) who is the son of the mayor (Candice Bergen).  There's only one problem. Witherspoon is still married to her childhood sweetheart (Josh Lucas) back in Alabama.  So after a few scenes in beautiful New York City, the action moves down to my neck of the woods.  Once Witherspoon is back home, we are subjected to a series of Green Acres-esque scenes as she plays the city slicker to all her of old friends who she now sees hicks.  Needless to say, Witherspoon soon gets back to her southern roots.  There's no new ground being broken here.  The little town is populated entirely by every stereotype from Central Casting.

     But Sweet Home Alabama isn't such a bad movie.  It's very conventional but there are some funny bits.  To my detractors, I would like to say that I laughed out loud several times.  The supporting cast is quite good.  Witherspoon's parents are played by Mary Kay Place (The Big Chill) and Fred Ward (The Right Stuff, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins) and Lucas' mother is played by a smart-looking Jean Smart (Designing Women).  Ward, in particular, has some funny bits involving Civil War re-enactments.   And it's nice to see Bergen who is finally doing some acting again after her husband, Louis Malle's death in 1995.  Unfortunately, she doesn't get much to do here except portray a one-dimensional version of Murphy Brown.

     They use the whole southern USA joke book in this movie.  It was fun watching this film with an audience of southerners.  They took it pretty well considering the South triumphs in Sweet Home Alabama.  One thing does go against stereotype in this movie.  Usually in movies like this, the woman has a choice between some slime-ball and a nice guy.  But, in Sweet Home Alabama, both the fiancé and the husband are nice guys.  So you for once, the woman's choice is actually a hard one.  You can guess whom she picks in the end. Like I said about another of Witherspoon's movies, Legally Blonde, this isn't a movie I would want to take my daughter to.  Actually, it was fine until the end credits which show a series of ``family snaps'' showing Witherspoon and Lucas' future life together.  We see his business flourishing. We see them with their baby. What's missing entirely is Witherspoon's career. Oh well.  She's living back home in Alabama.  She has a husband and a baby. What more does she need?  Go to see Sweet Home Alabama but leave when the credits roll.