SWEET  HOME  ALABAMA   - A   Narada   Film Review

   JOSH LUCAS  as   
   Jake
  
    PATRIC DEMPSEY  as   
   suitor Andrew Hennings,
   &  REESE WITHERSPOON    
   
    FRED WARD as the   
    father, Earl Smooter
SWEET HOME ALABAMA  - Andrew Tennant-Director   Neal H Moritz-Producer .

  Reviewed 10 Nov 2002   Each year Hollywood 's Guild of Producers and Directors (GOPAD) junket out to Las Vegas on an orgy of debauchery & gluttony, but they also address the serious business of reaffirming content of the standardized plots they re-use every year ("cookie-cutters" to you, Pal ).  More importantly, they also reaffirm and update stereotyping of characters that will appear in these cookie-cutters.  Here, everyone gets their "attributes kit", from Albanian to Zulu.  At the end of the conference, they issue an edict which is sent to all major studios for mandatory compliance.
       This is why you will see in Sweet Home Alabama that everyone from New York must have 3 or more of the following attributes: overbearing, self-centered, money-grubbing, hyper-ambitious, maladjusted, gay/lesbian, artsy-phartsy, hyper-wealthy, and /or a control freak, and spend their entire day running out of buildings yelling, "Taxi, taxi !"  Alabamians, on the other hand, are required to be self-depreciating red-dirt farm Bubbas with a subtle, almost sly sense of humor, smothered in homespun metaphors, and are, deep-down, good-hearted & loveable, once you get to know 'em.  Oh, OK, I admit they're right about New Yorkers, but the "Alabama stereotype" is total cartoon.
       If this were a REAL story about a daughter, Melanie , (Reese Witherspoon) who couldn't make up her mind whether to marry her handsome, multi-multimillionaire New Yorker that she said she loved, or go back to her old hubby back in Alabama, there would have been a sort-of reverse shotgun wedding, where her dad, Earl (Fred Ward) would have frog-marched Melanie down the aisle at gunpoint with the New Yorker.  (Hint: without Ward this particular 'romantic comedy' cookie-cutter wouldn't have cut it.)
      Enduring Line or Phrase:  "Why don't you run out to the 'fridge and get us some baloney cake?"

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