Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA, 2002. Touchstone Pictures, Original Film, D&D Films, Pigeon Creek Films. Story by Douglas J. Eboch, Screenplay by C. Jay Cox. Cinematography by Andrew Dunn. Produced by Stokely Chaffin, Neal H. Moritz. Music by George Fenton. Production Design by Clay A. Griffith. Costume Design by Sophie De Rakoff. Film Editing by Troy Takaki, Tracey Wadmore-Smith.
Even those who love a predictable romantic comedy will find this one hopelessly hokey. Reese Witherspoon is buoyantly charming as a Manhattan fashion designer whose JFK-Jr.-esque boyfriend (Patrick Dempsey) proposes marriage to her. She readily accepts, but doesn’t mention to him that her marriage to her husband back home in Alabama (Josh Lucas) has never been legally terminated. She travels back to the home town that she abandoned in shame years earlier, finding her first mate much improved in the looks and career department and now has to decide whom she really wants. Oh, whatever will our heroine do? Pick the cold, slightly rude guy with the perfect suits and inability to stand up for her, or the T-shirt-and-jeans guy with the perfect tan, highlights and ability to make beautiful glass objects out of lightning-blasted sand? Most insultingly, the film concentrates on her stupid love life without ever forcing her character to face the (classist) fact that she was ashamed of who she was and never should have been. It’s nice to know that Witherspoon can amiably survive even the worst material, but it’s not that much fun for an audience to endure such drivel in order to prove it.