“Every month is November, Sarah,” and you will want it to be after seeing this romantic and heartbreaking love story from Warner Brothers Pictures.
Released on Feb.16,”Sweet November” is a story of learning to let go of that something one can’t live without, in order to hold on to the memory.
Keanu Reeves, best know for his work in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, “Speed” and “A Walk in the Clouds”, portrays Nelson Moss, a cut-throat advertising executive who eats, sleeps, amd breathes like a machine. Even his personal life is written into his tight schedule, until he meets unemployed life-liver Sarah Dyver (Charlize Theron).
Sarah’s carefree spirit catches his eye when they happen to collide in the Department of Motor Vehicles. Both are trying to pass the driver’s exam and he asks her for an answer. While she politely rejects him, saying she hasn’t reached that question yet, the proctor asks her to leave the exam for cheating.
The story begins when Sarah waits for Nelson by sitting on his car outside the DMV. She explains to him that because of him she can’t drive and he owes her a ride.
Nelson doesn’t have time for Sarah. He has to get back to work, but agrees to help her so she’ll leave him alone. She does anything but that! Sarah knows the importance of life. She saves two puppies from being the objects of animal testing with Nelson’s lethargic companionship.
The next day Nelson’s life falls apart. His well-oiled machine has a wrench thrown in the works when his girlfriend suddenly moves out, he loses a big account for his company, and is fired. It is because of this that Sarah asks him, “Nelson, would you like to be my November?”
After a bit of cajoling, Nelson decides he has nothing to lose. He moves into Sarah’s disorganized life for one month, and realizes what a wonder it is to experience all life has to offer.
Sarah makes Nelson abandon the fast paced life he is accustomed to, for the chance to see that life has more to offer than Mercedes, cell phones, and being the best at what you earn your living by. She shows him how majestic it can be to frolic on the beach, take Abner (the fatherless boy that lives close-by) to race his toy boat, and to wake up every morning next to someone he really loves. Sarah teaches Nelson to see life, not through the television, but through the eyes of another human being.
This movie is an unoriginal love story. Don’t expect anything you haven’t seen before. Man meets girl… girl changes man’s life… man falls head over heels… girl can’t be with man! But there is something fresh about this film that engages the audience. The way Theron and Reeves brillantly portray two people so adoring of one-another is what sets this film apart.
Theron and Reeves have done this before, but not in quite the same, innocent, manner. The two starred in the 1996 film “The Devil’s Advocate”, in which they used their love to defeat the Godfather of Hell, Al Pacino.
In “Sweet November”, the two prove that they can act, though it is obvious they aren’t of the same caliber. Theron lights up the screen like a sunflower in bloom, while her less talented co-star struggles to lose his Bill and Ted typecasting. While Reeves does become the man of one’s dreams, his soft, mysterious voice, and slightly odd pronunciation keeps one constantly questioning his acting ability.
I would save this one for a rental. A lonely Saturday night will call for the companionship of “Sweet November”.
Whatever the formula, the equation of this movie does work. Theron + Reeves = a believable and beautiful love story. B+