Urban Cinefile
"It gave me a chance to say things to my on-screen son Max (played by Dakota Goyo) that I want to but wouldn't say to my real son"  -Hugh Jackman on his role in Real Steel
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

SWEET NOVEMBER

SYNOPSIS:
San Franciscan workaholic Nelson Moss (Keanu Reeves) loves power-pitching to smarmy execs, mixing with his yuppie co-workers, and neglecting anyone who shows him a shred of emotion - especially his girlfriend Angelica (Lauren Graham). Nelson doesn't realise just how empty his life is until carefree gal Sara Deever (Charlize Theron) comes along and offers a proposal. Move in with her for the month of November and she'll change his life forever. Nelson accepts the challenge, but is ready for the romantic consequences? Based on the 1968 Sandy Dennis film of the same name.

"For those with a nuclear-grade patience and a keen sense of humour, Sweet November should be endured only to witness Keanu Reeves' hilariously wooden performance as leading man. I've said it before and I'll say it again; don't let Keanu make love. Make him a "Whoa, dude!" time traveller. Throw him on a speeding bus. Download him into a computerised nightmare. Even make him a redneck psycho. But never - I repeat NEVER - romance him. He's out of his emotional depth as a romantic lead, stiffening up like a thick, flat and blank piece of wood. Didn't the casting agents see A Walk in the Clouds? It's painful watching Reeves croon to a pop song for his lucky gal. But if you can brave the saccharine storm, he presents an amusing caricature. Then again Keanu stands alongside Charlize Theron, as luminous as ever as a serial monogamist and free spirit who loves turning cartwheels on the beach (the international sign of the free spirit?). Given the sappiest dialogue to work with, Theron relies on her considerable beauty, and the camera milks her every misty close-up for all it's worth. That's not the only cheap trick Sweet November employs to dupe you. Reeves pitches to a hot dog manufacturer by wanting to market wieners as phallic treats ("We need a sinful, dangerous food…"). What? Jason Isaacs plays a token gay neighbour, complete with cute little mutt (from As Good as It Gets), and Liam Aiken plays a fatherless little boy. To its only credit, the filmmakers show the effects of Sara's illness at close range during a love scene. Considering that such illnesses are frequently glamorised in film, it's a scene of rare honesty. It unfortunately one of the few distinguishing features in Sweet November."
Shannon J Harvey

"To say Sweet November is disappointing would be a huge understatement. Theoretically the film should work – it has two bankable stars in Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron, it’s directed by Pat O’Connor whose credits include Cal and Inventing the Abbots, and it was made once before (in 1968). But for all that, this new effort is a blunder. The film’s original vintage (think Love Story) may give some hint about its subject-matter; and frankly it’s been done so many times before, it looks weary. Worse than that, this new version is just plain dull. The set-up is implausible; the heart of the film stock standard; and the ending pure treacly cliché. Clocking in at just on 2 hours, the film is far too long for the lightweight script and moves at such a maddeningly slow pace, I barely suppressed the urge to scream. The film does have a few things going for it. Jason Isaacs puts in a sterling effort as Chaz, Sara’s caring neighbour (although he falls foul of a ludicrous plot development), the San Francisco locations look great and Liam Aiken (the kid from Henry Fool) has a nice cameo. Charlize Theron displays her considerable talent yet again, but she really needs to be making better choices. Keanu Reeves however is deadly dreary as Nelson; and his marked lack of chemistry with Theron doesn’t help an already ailing picture. Their romance is so tepid, I was wondering what could possibly have drawn them in the first place. Sweet November is a forgettable exercise in sickening formulaic filmmaking – and there’s nothing sweet about that."
David Edwards

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0

See our interview with

KEANU REEVES

SWEET NOVEMBER (M)
(US)

CAST: Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron, Jason Isaacs, Greg Germann

DIRECTOR: Pat O'Connor

PRODUCER: Elliott Kastner, Steven Reuther, Deborah Stoff, Erwin Stoff

SCRIPT: Kurt Voelker (story and screenplay), Paul Yurick (story), Herman Raucher (1968 screenplay)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Edward Lachman

EDITOR: Anne V. Coates

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Naomi Shohan

MUSIC: Christopher Young

RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 12, 2001

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video

VIDEO RELEASE: October 31, 2001







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017