There isn’t much I can say about Sweet Home Alabama except that it was pretty much exactly what I expected it to be. The film was predictable, trite, poorly written with mediocre acting, and extremely stereotypical characters.
Without spending too much effort on the plot, here are the basics: Melanie Carmichael, a girl from Alabama, lies about her past as a southern bell, and becomes an “up and coming” fashion designer in New York City. She must return to Alabama to get a divorce from her childhood sweetheart and face all the people she left behind.
Unfortunately, the writers of this film think everything great comes from small towns, and that large cities is where complexity and selfishness live. As well, we are told that returning to Alabama is what Melanie needs, yet we are never told why.
Why does Hollywood feel it’s necessary to reinforce the stereotype that not a single person from New York City can remember how to wear jeans and a t-shirt, and must always wear designer clothes?
Why can’t someone make a movie about people that were raised in a city, end up moving to the country where they are bored to tears by provincialisms, and thus decide to return home to the crowded streets where they feel complete. Instead we end up with films about “educated city folk” who “love the finer things in life” and are “terrorized” by “simple-minded country bumpkins.”
Of course no one could ever be both a small town and big city person, nor could the two get along together, they must be kept apart. After all, “you can take the woman out of Alabama,” but you can’t take the poor writing out of Hollywood.Nothing but a complete overhaul of the script could have saved this film; however, dropping a few cliches differently may have made it more palatable. In the end, I wouldn’t recommend this film to anyone I know.