CEdwards BP_5 Fave Film

Melanie Smooter, as portrayed by Reese Witherspoon in the 2002 film Sweet Home Alabama is my favorite film character. The movie begins with a flashback of Melanie and Jake as children running along the beach during a lighting storm. The purpose of this flashback is to explain the “connection between past and present when none of the characters can do so (Film & Literature, 270).” Without this flashback, we would never know why Jake has kept an emotional connection to Melanie throughout all the years and cannot sign the divorce papers. The flashback was a quick cut and abruptly ended when Melanie woke up from a dream.

The narration of the film is classified as first person. The narrative is told from Melanie’s perspective, as she is the protagonist. Melanie cannot be classified as the two-dimensional Alabama citizen who just drinks beer and rides around in a pickup truck. The film does allow her to be dynamic and evolve.

Her desire to distance herself from her Pigeon Creek, Alabama roots motivates her actions. The only thing holding her back from escaping Pigeon Creek and marrying Andrew Hennings (played by Patrick Dempsey) is her marriage to Jake. Thus, her sometimes rude behavior is result of her desperately trying to sever the last thing holding her back from becoming a New York socialite. Additionally, while, the audience may dislike her for abandoning her parents and husband, changing her surname to Carmichael, and moving to New York to start afresh, we understand it. We understand the plight of a small-town girl seeking to escape and make it in the big city.

Overall, it is Melanie’s complex feelings toward love that draw me toward her. Love is one of the values I hold most dearly. This is one of the only movies that I can watch over and over again and still be just as excited about the ending as when I first saw it.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    I love this movie and agree that I can watch it over and over again. I really liked your analysis of why they chose to narrate the film in this way.

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  2. Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    This movie is amazing, it never gets old. I love how you discussed why the audience might not like Melanie.

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  3. Posted January 10, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    This is a great movie, I like how you talk about the connection between the past and present. Also I liked the idea of you talking about why Melanie might be viewed by the audience as not liked, and you get a sense that there is a sort of antipathy towards Melanie.

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  4. Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Who does not like this movie? personal I think Melanie is a terrible person who messes with two nice dudes. I feel the worst for the dog.

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