SWEET NOVEMBER

Bohemian Romance

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: February 16, 2001

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron,
Jason Isaacs, & Greg German

Genre: Romantic Tragedy

Audience: Teenagers & adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 102 minutes

Distributor: Warner Bros.

Director: Oat O’Connor

Executive Producer: Wendy Wanderman

Producer: Erwin Stoff, Deborah Aal,
Steven Reuther, & Elliot
Kastner

Writer: Kurt Voelker

Address Comments To:

Barry A. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Warner Bros., Inc.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
Website: www.movies.warnerbros.com

Content:

(RoRoRo, PCPC, Ho, L, V, SS, NN, A, D, M) Strong romantic worldview with political correctness & gratuitous homosexual elements about a vegetarian woman in San Francisco obsessed with breaking into a man’s life to help him find romance; 6 obscenities & 3 profanities; mild violence such as man breaks glass & woman throws pill boxes on the floor; implied & depicted fornication in bed & in a bathtub; upper male nudity & female nudity; alcohol use; no smoking; woman takes overdose of prescription drugs; and, cheating, cohabitation & animal rights activism.

Summary:

In SWEET NOVEMBER, a woman thrusts herself into the life of a workaholic advertising executive, ostensibly to help him learn to relate to people better. A quirky romantic tragedy, SWEET NOVEMBER is superficially charming, but ultimately lacks plausibility and includes some foul language and strong sexual immorality, plus some political correctness, a strong romantic worldview, and homosexual elements.

Review:

SWEET NOVEMBER is a remake of a 1968 movie by the same name. It is a charming, quirky romantic tragedy which presents audiences with an endearing, but shallow premise that doesn’t overcome several implausible romantic encounters sprinkled liberally throughout the story. This version exchanges the bohemian environment of 1968 Brooklyn and a romance between 60s stars Anthony Newly and Sandy Dennis, for the similarly bohemian environment of 2001 San Francisco’s arts district, and a romance between 2001’s stars Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron.

The story begins as breezy bohemian Sara Deever (Charlize Theron) disrupts a traffic school class exam as she takes her seat while carrying several bags of groceries into the room. She prominently displays a crib sheet to workaholic advertising executive Nelson Moss (Keanu Reeves), who promptly takes the bait, asks Sara for the answer to a question and causes her to be ejected from the class.

Capitalizing on the implied guilt she thinks Nelson should feel for causing her to lose her driver’s license for a month, Sara makes a scene at his apartment building. She threatens him with further harassment if he doesn’t transport her to an animal heist she stages at a New York animal laboratory. Her obsession with liberating pets from cruel lab experiments gives her character an endearing quality, but this quality does not overcome the implausibility of Nelson later succumbing to her emotional blackmail and then falling in love with her.

“I make the rules,” says Sara, a charming Jezebel, as she later inveigles Nelson into spending the night with her, despite his misgivings and despite his girlfriend who has been threatening to leave him because of his obsession with work. Audiences then discover that Sara indeed has a thing going on, when she reveals to Nelson that “Mitch was my October.” She then lays a romantic trap for the hapless Nelson, who falls squarely into it when he is subsequently fired from his advertising job and finds that his girlfriend has left, but viewers do not learn why Nelson changes from his initial hostility toward Sara to his fascination with her bohemian, vegan lifestyle, to his eventual love for her.

Why does Sara shack up with one man after another in month-long romantic flings? Her motivation emerges toward the end of the movie, which includes a sweetly tragic ending.

If the filmmakers of SWEET NOVEMBER were counting on Valentine’s Day nostalgia for a wholesome storyline to energize their movie, they miscalculated. The storyline presupposes that romance in the year 2001 must include immediate sexual intimacy between two strangers and gratuitous homosexual transvestite scenes from peripheral characters which don’t advance the story one iota. Although a woman’s desire to convert a man from emotional isolation to romantic entanglement is commendable, this story just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Its premise is nebulous, and the romance is forced.

Any woman would be glad to hear her man tell her, “I live for one thing: to love you and to make you happy,” as Nelson eventually tells Sara toward the end, but his ascent to that pitch of romantic ardor within two weeks from his state as an emotional cold fish solely because Sara lavishes her undivided attention on him, and meets his every need (almost as if she were conducting a clinical experiment) is utterly implausible, and thus shallow.

Where is God in this story? Shouldn’t he be involved in putting a man together with a woman? Can there be deep romantic commitment between two people without invoking His love, and His purposes for both lives? What makes a man and a woman stick together in a lifelong commitment? It’s not just fun sex and slavishly attending to the other person’s needs. Surely, it’s fulfilling the Creator’s purposes.

In Brief:

SWEET NOVEMBER is a remake of a 1968 movie by the same name. In the story, Charlize Theron plays a vegetarian woman named Sara, living in San Francisco, who encounters a young workaholic advertising executive named Nelson, played by Keanu Reeves. Sara thrusts herself into Nelson’s life. She lays a romantic trap for the hapless Nelson, who falls squarely into it when he is subsequently fired from his advertising job and finds that his girlfriend has left. Viewers do not really learn why Nelson changes from his initial hostility toward Sara to his fascination with her bohemian, vegan lifestyle, to his eventual love for her. Her motivation emerges toward the end of the movie, which includes a sweetly tragic ending.

A quirky romantic tragedy, SWEET NOVEMBER is superficially charming, but ultimately lacks plausibility. The movie also presupposes that romance in the year 2001 must include immediate sexual intimacy between two strangers and gratuitous homosexual transvestite scenes from peripheral characters which don’t advance the story one iota. SWEET NOVEMBER also contains some foul language, strong sexual immorality, a strong romantic worldview, and politically-correct elements, partly having to do with Sara’s bohemian lifestyle