Sweet November

on February 16, 2001 by Tim Cogshell
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   "Sweet November" is a remake of the 1968 film of the same title starring Sandy Dennis and Anthony Newley, though modern audiences might think it a bigscreen adaptation of "Dharma and Greg." This contemporary version of the melodrama about a straight-laced workaholic and the free-spirited woman who takes over his life plays like an out-of-control episode of the popular television series, if whimsical pixie Dharma had Hodgkin's disease. That's not a giveaway, it's made clear in the trailers (not to mention the original movie) that Sara (Charlize Theron) is doomed.

   Keanu Reeves as Nelson, the uptight businessman who discovers the simple joys of life thanks to a sexy sprite is his ever-stilted self, while Theron seems to be on an acid trip (and must be best-looking dying woman the world has ever seen). Yet in some odd ways it actually works: Theron and Reeves have wonderful chemistry, which shouldn't be surprising because each of these stars seem to be capable of creating sparks with whomever they're starring opposite. Here, they reek of sensuality, and if it weren't for all the bad dialogue and juvenile characterizations getting in the way, one could easily and enjoyably become enveloped by their seductive presences. Unfortunately, this is not the case. We are forced to sit through a maudlin, insipid storyline that has the ditzy Sara commandeering the life of Nelson, a rigid ad-executive, after meeting him at the DMV. Why a dying woman is at the DVM seems odd, but nevertheless, she wants him to be her November project. This is an act of kindness in which she commits herself to one man for one full month, helping him to see the light. As obnoxious as that may be, Theron is so luminously pretty she can get away with almost anything, and Keanu is a movie star for reasons that supersede issues of talent.    Starring Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron, Jason Isaacs, Greg Germann and Frank Langella. Directed by Pat O'Connor. Written by Kurt Voelker and Paul Yurick. Produced by Steven Reuther, Deborah Stoff, Erwin Stoff and Elliott Kastner. A Warner Bros. release. Romantic drama. Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language. Running time: 120 min.

Tags: tarring Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron, Jason Isaacs, Greg Germann and Frank Langella. Directed by Pat O'Connor. Written by Kurt Voelker and Paul Yurick. Produced by Steven Reuther, Deborah Stoff, Erwin Stoff, Elliott Kastner, Warner Bros, Romantic drama
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