Sweet Home Alabama

Sweet Home Alabama

4.4 70
Director: Andy Tennant

Cast: Andy Tennant, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey

     
 

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Romantic comedies on DVD are often cash cows for studios, and with the all the enjoyable extras milked into Touchstone Home Entertainment's Sweet Home Alabama, this is one disc sure to rise to the top. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Patrick Dempsey, and Candice Bergen, Sweet Home Alabama is a charming film about a self-made New York designer who mustSee more details below

Overview

Romantic comedies on DVD are often cash cows for studios, and with the all the enjoyable extras milked into Touchstone Home Entertainment's Sweet Home Alabama, this is one disc sure to rise to the top. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Patrick Dempsey, and Candice Bergen, Sweet Home Alabama is a charming film about a self-made New York designer who must rendezvous with her Southern roots before her new life can flourish. The movie, presented in anamorphic video, is shown in 2.35:1 widescreen with crisp colors and clear projection. The Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound is decent, especially during the conversations and Civil War "battle" scenes. Not much in terms of groundbreaking surround sound, but this is a romantic comedy, not an apocalyptic war adventure. A French language track is also available. In terms of extras, Touchstone included those viewer-friendly options that many fans of this genre will enjoy. There's a SHeDAISY music video and 12 chapter selections. The director's screen-specific audio commentary is worth a watch, especially since Andy Tennant uses this platform to really discuss his passion for this film as well as what funny things happened during the shoot. The anecdotes alone are worth listening to. But by far, the best extra on the disc is "Off the Cutting Room Floor," a collection of eight deleted scenes with an introduction by Tennant. To top that off is the always-popular alternate ending feature, with commentary.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Peter Marchand
Who ever said that you can’t go home again? If you have a cell phone, a Saab convertible, and the innate charm of Reese Witherspoon, you can go anywhere you like. Such is the case with Melanie Carmichael (Witherspoon), who seems to have it all -- she’s a famous fashion designer living in Manhattan with chic friends and a doting beau (Patrick Dempsey), whose mom (Candice Bergen) happens to be the mayor. We soon learn, however, that Melanie has a little too much -- namely a husband (Josh Lucas), who has refused to grant her a divorce. So she decides to fly back home to Pigeon Creek, Alabama, to get the papers signed before the Big Apple learns of her big secret. If movies have taught us anything, it’s that once people leave the cynical, soul-stealing Sodom-and-Gomorrah that is the big city, it's only a matter of time before they reembrace the goodness of small-town America. So during Melanie's attempt to get her ex to set her free, it's no shock that she reexamines her feelings for both the world and the man she left behind. Sure, southern stereotypes keep popping up: a dad (Fred Ward) who spends weekends as a Civil War reenactor and a ma (Mary Kay Place) who makes "the best preserves in three counties." But director Andy Tennant (Fools Rush In), manages to skirt them by keeping the plot moving. Not surprisingly, this is Witherspoon’s showcase, and she glows with the mix of comedic chops and tough exterior that enlivened both Election and Legally Blonde. Supplemental features include deleted scenes and an alternate ending.
All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
After a string of edgy and often deliberately unsympathetic performances in such films as Freeway, American Psycho, and Election, Reese Witherspoon was probably as surprised as anyone that America was ready to let her become its latest sweetheart. But after the runaway success of Legally Blonde, the budding superstar stuck to safe, fairy-tale material with this mostly winning romantic comedy. Populated by lovable eccentrics and plain but good folks, Sweet Home Alabama's Pigeon Creek is indistinguishable from any number of other sanitized, fictional Southern towns. But Witherspoon, with her kewpie countenance and iron spine, differs just enough from the conventional leading lady to remove the aftertaste from the saccharine material. Taking her cues from the conniving Julia Roberts school of heroines rather than the blander Meg Ryan variety, she drinks, cusses, and condescends her way to a perverse likability. The more she resembles a Jerry Springer guest, the more the audience cheers her on. The film's reassuring "I'm okay, you're okay" geographic relativism may not play well to self-satisfied Manhattanites, but it sure goes down well everywhere else. Heartthrobs Ethan Embry, Patrick Dempsey, and Joshua Lucas provide the requisite broad-based sex appeal, while everyone from Candice Bergen and Jean Smart to Mary Kay Place supplies laughs and lovable stereotypes. Jewel chimes in with the inevitable Lynyrd Skynyrd cover, and boom -- something safe for everyone, like all the best blockbusters.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
It is a fantasy, a sweet, light-hearted fairy tale with Reese Witherspoon at its center. She is as lovable as Doris Day would have been in this role.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/04/2003
UPC:
0786936208030
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:49:00
Sales rank:
5,773

Special Features

Closed Caption; "Off the cutting room floor"- 8 deleted scenes with introduction by director Andy Tennant ; Alternate ending with commentary; Director's audio commentary; Shedaisy's "Mine All Mine" music video; ; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound ; Widescreen (2.35:1) - enhanced for 16x9 televisions; French language track

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Reese Witherspoon Melanie Carmichael
Josh Lucas Jake Perry
Patrick Dempsey Andrew
Candice Bergen Mayor Katherine Hennings
Mary Kay Place Pearl Smooter
Fred Ward Earl Smooter
Jean Smart Stella Kay
Ethan Embry Bobby Ray
Melanie Lynskey Lurlynn
Courtney Gains Wade
Mary Lynn Rajskub Dorothea
Rhona Mitra Tabatha
Nathan Lee Graham Frederick
Dakota Fanning Young Melanie
Mark Matkevich Tom Darovsic
Ted Manson Colonel Murphy
Ambre Lake Wedding Coordinator

Technical Credits
Andy Tennant Director
Juel Bestrop Casting
Sophie de Rakoff Carbonell Costumes/Costume Designer
Stokely Chaffin Producer
Kathleen Chopin Casting
C. Jay Cox Screenwriter
Louis D'Esposito Asst. Director
Andrew Dunn Cinematographer
Douglas J. Eboch Original Story
Mary H. Ellis Sound/Sound Designer
George Fenton Score Composer
Michael Fottrell Executive Producer
Clay Griffith Production Designer
Jon Jashni Executive Producer
Jeanne McCarthy Casting
Wink Mordaunt Executive Producer
Neal H. Moritz Producer
Jay Pelissier Art Director
Lisa K. Sessions Set Decoration/Design
Dawn Solér Musical Direction/Supervision
Troy T. Takaki Editor
Tracey Wadmore-Smith Editor
Laura Z. Wasserman Musical Direction/Supervision

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits/Lightning Strikes
2. The Proposal
3. The Smooters
4. Redecorating the House
5. Carried Home
6. Touring the Carmichael Plantation
7. Street Fair
8. Saying Goodbye
9. Planning a Southern Wedding
10. The Wedding
11. The Right Groom
12. End Credits

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