Sweet November

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Nelson Moss (Keanu Reeves) unexpectedly meets Sara Deever (Charlize Theron), a woman very different from anyone else he has ever met. His arrogance and ignorance leads to her failing her DMV test. She beguiles him and continually asks him to spend a month with her on the promise that she will change his life for the better. That night, she sleeps with him, and the next day Chaz, (a close friend of Sara’s) arrives and is able to identify Nelson as Sara’s “November”.

Throughout November, the two experience happy times together and fall in love. During the month and their adventures, Nelson examines his life and past and befriends a fatherless child called Abner (Liam Aiken). Eventually, he realizes he is in love with Sara and asks her to marry him. It is revealed that Sara has terminal cancer, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Because she cannot bear to have Nelson experience her death, she asks him to leave. Sara tells Chaz that Nelson proposed to her. Chaz says that it wasn’t the first time that a man had proposed, implying Sara has had numerous “months”. Sara confirms this but claims it was the first time she had wanted to say yes. She decides she will not continue the relationship to protect Nelson from getting hurt. Nelson complies, but then stages a surprise return during Thanksgiving, giving her gifts that remind her of their happy times.

They stay together for one more day; he posts November calendars all over her apartment walls, saying it can always be November for them. They make love, but the next morning, Nelson finds Sara is dressed. She asks him to leave, with all his calendars taken down. Nelson becomes confused and heartbroken. Sara asks Nelson to let her go so that he will always have happy memories of her and explains that this is how she needs to be remembered. She will return home to her family (who she had been avoiding) and face her last days. The movie ends with Sara blindfolding Nelson (a revisitation of an activity they had done earlier in the month), giving him one last kiss, and then walking away. Nelson then takes off the blindfold in tears, and is later shown at a park they went to on one of their dates


Now that I  think about it, maybe I should’ve done this last month, since it is called Sweet November, and here it is the end of December. Oh well, it still wasn’t my choice to watch this, but sometimes a man has to appease the little woman, right fellas?

So, if you’ve ever seen any chick flick, then you are more than aware that these things will feature some sort of depressing plot point, usually some kind terminal illness or some kind of odd love life problem. This film goes more along the line of the former, but the latter is there in a disjointed sort of way that manifests itself in the film’s final, tumultuous act.

Let me start by mentioning the acting here. It is pathetic. First off, we’ve come to expect wooden performances from Keanu Reeves, that’s just who he is, so we accept it.

However, Charlize Theron is a great actress, of that there is no question, but here she just seems as if she’s trying to be Dharma from Dharma & Greg. If that was the was, then she accomplished it, however, it didn’t really work for me. Fact is, she got a bit annoying, especially at the beginning.

As horrible as those two were, I was encouraged by the outstanding performance of two guys who are known as villains, Jason Isaacs and Michael Rosenbaum. The biggest surprise comes when we get to see these guys in drag. Let me just say that it will be a true shock for those that see these two.

The story falls flat for me, as well. This thing with the 30 days to “fix” the guy who all of a sudden is supposed to put his life on hold and move in with this random chick seems a bit odd. Top top that off, there is this whole thing where his life seems to all of a sudden spin out of control the next day, just seems a bit to coincidental for my taste. Then, of course, there is the sudden revelation that she has cancer. To me, that just seemed sort of forced in there to make this make sense…unsuccessfully, I might add.

Final verdict of Sweet November? Well, I just learned that this is a remake of a film from yesteryear. That officially makes two unwatchable remakes (and I already hate and despise the things) that Keanu Reeves has been in, the other being The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008). This film has nothing that any guy is going to be interested in, save for Lauren Graham in her lingerie in the film’s opening scene. Everything else is geared exclusively for the female audience, and that is ok. Let the girls have this movie, just be sure there is a box of Kleenex handy come the end. Do I recommend this film? Yes, but only if you’re of the female species.

3 out of 5 stars


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