New York fashion designer Melanie Carmichael suddenly finds herself engaged to the city's most eligible bachelor. But Melanie's past holds many secrets, including Jake, the redneck husband she married in high school, who refuses to divorce her. Bound and determined to end their contentious relationship once and for all, Melanie sneaks back home to Alabama to confront her past, only to discover that you can take the girl out of the South, but you can never take the South out of the girl.
In this fluff ball of a fairy tale, Reese Witherspoon is Melanie Carmichael, a rising New York fashion designer from humble Southern roots who is forced to choose between two Prince Charmings. One is the handsome, courtly son (Patrick Dempsey) of the mayor of New York who showers her with roses and diamonds, the other her childhood sweetheart, the hunky Southern stud (Josh Lucas) she left behind. Things are on course for her to marry the mayor's son until she returns to Pigeon Creek, Ala., to divorce the childhood sweetheart and discovers the flame still flickers. A star to her petite bones, Ms. Witherspoon charms her way through this wisp of a movie that peddles a faux populist sentimentality while jokingly refighting the Civil War with Melanie the winning side's trophy. — Stephen Holden
2002-09-27 | Stephen Holden | Read the New York Times Review of Sweet Home Alabama