You Can't Take the South Out Of the Girl
Have you watched Sweet Home Alabama? it hit the silver screen way back in 2002. it was one those romantic comedies. I was still in college then and was yet cynical. If you cannot remember it from all the movies you've seen the past five years, maybe these names will jog your memory. it was starring Legally Blonde actress Reese Witherspoon, A beautiful Mind's Hansen, Josh Lucas, and Patrick Dempsey, resident doctor of Grey's Anatomy.
To further refresh your memories, here's how the story goes. Melanie Carmichael, played by Reese, is the hot new designer in big Apple. She is living the life she wanted ever since she was young. When she thinks that life can not get any better, her too-good-for-words boyfriend, Andrew Hennings, get down to his knee and proposed with all the rings in Tiffany. If only things were that easy. even facing her snotty soon-to-be mother-in-law, Kate Hennings, Mayor of new York City, cannot compare to the dread Melanie's feeling when she has to go back to Alabama to face her roots and her husband, Jake Perry, played by Josh. Since Jake has not signed the divorce papers she sent five years ago, she has to take that overdue trip to Alabama. the plot basically revolved about Melanie making peace with her past so that she could move on. it ended on a happy note with Melanie and Jake back in the same spot where they kissed eons ago while lightening bolts were all over the place. true to its tagline, "Sometimes what you're looking for is right where you left it."
Aside from the mushy stuff, I had fun with the movie with all its subtle, and not-so-subtle, jabs about Alabama. here are the punch lines that made it to my top three:
After taking a quick look at the divorce papers, Jake tells Melanie that he needs to see his lawyer because he's a country boy and the papers have words he can't pronounce much more give meaning to.
If there is a person in the whole movie who is very vocal about her views about people in the South, the award goes to Mayor Hennings. When Her Highness set her foot in Alabama, she's nothing but sarcastic. after smacking a mosquito, she said, "One down, six million to go." Melanie's father has his comebacks. For this one, he said, "Careful, you just killed the state bird of Alabama.'
Mayor Kate Hennings did it again. She said to Melanie's mom, in a condescending manner that she has all throughout the film, to "go back to your double-wide and fry something." Apparently, that's one too many for Melanie because she decked the mayor soon after the words were spoken.
There are forums and other discussions about the movie regarding the way it depicts Alabamians. Personally, I don't think it should really be an issue but I guess if you live in Alabama and the world will see you as a Yankee hick, it would not sit well will you.
Labels tend to generalize. as much as we want to stay out of stereotyping, it is there. the least we could do is make the best of it. you might as well turn it into something you can be proud of. If people will see you as a hick, then prove to them that being one does not mean you are below them. It's all a matter of perspective. If you lived in the city your entire life and you may never see eye to eye with a person from Alabama, you could try for a common ground, and stop with the insults. on the other hand, if you are from the South and can't make city guys change their views, go with the flow. as they say, if you can't beat them, join them. look at it as any other joke. as long as you know your value, a few jabs would not hurt.
All in all, it was a good movie. I gave it four out of five popcorns. Kudos to Mayor Hennings!